Redblacks all-star OL SirVincent Rogers savoured family time during bye week

While most of his teammates were relaxing during the bye week, SirVincent Rogers was busier than ever.

The Ottawa Redblacks offensive lineman returned home to Houston, where he was a welcome sight for his wife, Rachel, and four young children.

Rogers has seen his family just once, the Redblacks’ last bye week in August, since he left Houston in May to attend training camp.

Coming off a 28-15 win over the Edmonton Eskimos and sitting first in the East, the Redblacks (8-5) likely are playoff bound – meaning Rogers won’t see his family again until at least mid-November.

While leaving home has become a way of life for the six-year CFL veteran, he admits it hasn’t gotten any easier.

“That’s the part that most players don’t really like to elaborate on or talk about,” the 32-year-old Rogers said. “That’s the difficulty and struggle that we deal with as American players coming here and spending half the year here pursuing a game we love and a job. That’s the part you try to suppress and you try to deal with outside of football. When you’re here at work you try to lock in and focus on that, but it makes it extremely tough outside of work to not have your kids or your wife physically present.”

Rogers, who met his wife in college, can’t say enough about Rachel and what she deals with in his absence. Not only is she left to handle all the parental responsibilities for Aaliyah, 10, SirVincent Jr., 3, Riley, 20 months, and SirChristian, just nine months old, she works as an English teacher at Shadow Creek High School and also is the head coach of the girls’ track team.

“I credit most of everything to her,” said Rogers. “She’s stood beside me and made it as simple and as easy for me as it could possibly be. She makes it work for her and handles everything at home and the kids. She does an incredible job doing it all. I can’t even put into words how much I appreciate her.”

Rogers can only laugh when thinking about his teammates who were kicking back during the bye week. Taking it easy was not part of his week off.

“I think we’ve done a great job up until this point making things work,” Rogers said. “The more kids we’ve had over the last three years, that’s the part that makes it a bit more difficult, but we just try to use all our resources like daycare and lean on family when we can. We try to make it work as best we can. It’s not easy, it’s not simple by any stretch of the imagination, but we make it work.”

This past winter, the young family dealt with a health scare when Rachel developed heart complications two months after the birth of SirChristian. She had experienced a similar situation following the birth of SirVincent Jr. in 2015. All worked out fine, but it was challenging as Rogers was dealing with his own rehabilitation from off-season shoulder surgery and was planning his departure for training camp.

“Thankfully, everything turned out for the best. I think she was just pushing herself a little harder than she should and so it made her slow things down a bit,” Rogers said.

Over the course of a season, Rogers spends countless hours on the phone and Facetime with his family, but there are some lonely times.

Rogers, named the CFL’s top offensive lineman in 2015, admits to sometimes feeling envious of players who have their families in town with them for the season. Players will often have their children run around the field after a game or practice and it’s in those moments where the loneliness can hit a little harder.

But Rogers, in the final year of a two-year contract with the Redblacks, knows he’s not in a unique situation. He says players rarely talk about the sacrifices many of them make because they’re ultimately deciding to play the game they love.


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