Monday Mailbag: COVID-19 vaccines passports, could Vernon Adams Jr. win the CFL MOP?

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The 3DownNation Monday Mailbag answers questions from readers across the country every week.

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We’ve answered a handful of questions below. If your question didn’t get picked, don’t panic — we’ll save it to potentially answer here next week or on the 3DownNation Podcast.

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If the CFL is serious about maintaining the league might I suggest that the league allow only vaccinated fans in their stadiums, whether a reserved seat-holder or not.

With the Delta variant waiting to grab on to unvaccinated people, as well as some already vaccinated people, the results of the early games might determine whether or not the schedule will continue.

This is a no-brainer, but might bring out the lunatic fringe in some provinces.

-John Whyle

Thanks for the message, John.

I agree that the CFL needs to do everything in its power to ensure the 2021 season goes ahead as smoothly as possible. Establishing a league-wide taxi squad full of players who have already completed quarantine is a good tool.

I’ve also heard that some teams are only planning on signing players who are fully vaccinated during the season to limit the chances of an outbreak.

As for fans, the only CFL city in which vaccinations are required that I’m aware of is Winnipeg. Hosting exclusively fully-vaccinated fans was the only way the Blue Bombers were going to be permitted to host a sold out crowd, so the decision made a lot of sense.

Manitoba is also one of Canada’s most-vaccinated provinces. As of Saturday, 79.5 percent of eligible Manitobans had received their first dose and 69.3 percent had received both doses. That’s pretty incredible.

The unvaccinated are a relatively small minority at this point in Canada and their numbers will dwindle over the coming weeks and months. I don’t think businesses are doing themselves any favours by catering to them.

I’ve seen tweets from a number of Bomber fans saying they wouldn’t have felt comfortable buying tickets to the game if there wasn’t a vaccination requirement. I’ll be at Thursday’s game and, frankly, I agree with the fans who would have stayed away if unvaccinated people were permitted to attend.

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As a University of Oregon alum I’m pleased to see two former Ducks getting prominent playing time in another league (Vernon Adams Jr. and Jeremiah Masoli).

I have to say though, I’m a bit perplexed as to why Vernon Adams Jr. hasn’t been mentioned among some of the top quarterbacks in the CFL. His playmaking potential is incredible and he has shown to be a weapon not only with his arm but his legs as well. 

In fact, I will go a step further and say he will end up winning the MOP this year. I don’t think the CFL truly understands just how immensely talented and versatile he is.

Thanks for reading,

-Andrew

I think Adams developed a bit of a bad reputation during his first CFL season because he didn’t take the league very seriously. He admitted that he didn’t work as hard as a first-year passer needs to in order to be successful, which is probably why he was traded twice before becoming a proven starter. The Ticats even tried to convert him to receiver in 2018.

With that said, it’s clear that Adams has since put in the work to become a CFL star. He was sensational in 2019 despite not being the team’s opening-day starter and developed quick chemistry with newcomers Quan Bray and Jake Wieneke.

I asked Khari Jones in a videoconference a few weeks ago about his starting quarterback and he agreed that Adams is just scratching the surface of what he can achieve in the CFL. Jones is confident that Adams will avoid the sophomore slump and I am, too. He’s working behind a solid offensive line and William Stanback will provide excellent balance to the offensive attack.

I’m also impressed with Adams’ leadership off the field. He fronted nearly $20,000 in the spring to host 14 teammates for an off-season workout. What a remarkable thing to do. Who does that?

Adams will have to beat out a lot of stars to become the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player, but I don’t think that’s out of the realm of possibility. He’s a great player and I’m happy that Montreal finally has a star quarterback to rally around.

John Hodge is a CFL insider and draft analyst who has been covering the league since 2014.