After a somewhat rocky start to the season, the Canadian Football League is already looking to amend its new injury reporting policy to provide greater clarity to fans and gambler.
As TSN insider Dave Naylor reported Friday: “CFL is reviewing injury reporting policy with focus on making info on injury reports consistent with depth charts. Could be some clarifications for teams and things such as injury status possibly being added to the depth charts for clarity.”
The move comes as accusations of intentional deception have been leveled at the B.C. Lions. With Michael Reilly facing elbow soreness, the team has switched their starting quarterback during the pre-game warmup in consecutive weeks.
In Week 1, Reilly was the listed starter until he tapped out prior to the national anthem, while Canadian Nathan Rourke got the official call in Week 2 only to be benched pre-game for a healthier looking Reilly. Both incidents were dubbed game time decisions, but some voices around the league have questioned the validity of that statement.
Both Reilly and Lions head coach Rick Campbell have claimed they are being as clear as possible, with the quarterback telling those upset to “get over it because injuries happen,” but the situation has looked bad optically while the league tries to attract new gambler to provide a financial life raft.
The injury report has been a cornerstone of public confidence in the NFL for many decades. The CFL has adopted it in 2021 to encourage revenue from newly legal single-game betting, but the credibility of the league, teams, owners and team personnel requires full compliance with and uniform enforcement of the policy.
The intent is to provide full and complete information on player availability. The NFL policy is that information for dissemination to the public on all injured players be reported in a satisfactory manner by teams to the league office, the opposing team, local and national media, and broadcast partners each game week of the regular season and post-season.
Currently the CFL is struggling with clarity when it comes to players who are game-time decisions. An amended policy with clearer depth charts could go a long way towards fixing that.