Montreal Alouettes quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. just wants to ball — fans in the stands or not — amid the coronavirus pandemic.
That determination comes after the United States’ top expert on infectious disease, Dr. Anthony Fauci stated there is a way professional sports can play games.
“People say well you can’t play without spectators, well I think you probably get enough buy-in from people. Nobody comes to the stadiums. Put [the athletes] in big hotels, wherever you want to play,” Fauci told Good Luck America.
“Keep them very well-surveilled, but have them tested like every week and make sure they don’t wind up infecting each other or their family and just let them play the season out.”
Whether the gate-driven CFL could operate financially without fans in the stands remains a major question mark. Although, if the three-down league found a way to play in empty stadiums, Adams Jr. is game.
“I have heard Dr. Fauci. I’m up for it because this is what I do, this is what I love, this is what I want to do: I want to play football this year,” Adams Jr. said.
“I think it would be tough playing with no fans, but in a way it would be cool. No home field advantage, you go out there and you just gotta worry about making plays. You don’t have to worry about all the extra stuff.”
Adams Jr. signed a contract extension in January which runs through the 2022 season and could be worth up to $1.5 million. The 27-year-old produced a 10-5 win-loss record while throwing for 3,942 yards, 24 touchdowns versus 13 interceptions and rushed for 394 yards with a league-high-tying 12 majors on the ground for Montreal in 2019.
“If that’s what that means, playing without fans, social distancing, getting checked every week, then we gotta do it. It’s not a drug test every week, it’s a virus check every week,” Adams Jr. said.
“We want to take the proper steps and be safe. I’m for it because this is my job, this is what I want to do, I want to play football this year. I want everybody to be on the same page, so if we’re half and half that’s probably not going to work.”
Under the leadership of Adams Jr., Montreal made the playoffs for the first time since 2014 with a 10-8 record and hosted a playoff game. He wants to keep the Als’ momentum going, but only if the majority agrees it’s prudent.
“There’s a 50-50 chance. I’m working out every single day and I’m staying ready, so I don’t have to get ready,” Adams Jr.
“My mom’s talking to me about being a truck driver, if the season doesn’t work out. I want to coach when football is said and done, but you can’t even coach now.”
Even if it was a shortened season, Adams Jr. believes it’s worth playing as long as players are quarantined and everyone can stay healthy. Currently, Adams Jr. is in the state of Washington and would have to be allowed across the border in Canada which is planned to be closed to non-essential travel until at least May 21, according the prime minister Justin Trudeau.
“Whatever they say goes I guess, I would hope they would let people come over for work, not just professional, but for work,” Adams Jr. said. “It’s my profession, so of course I’m going to say let the athletes come over for work.”