Fans — and bettors — are about to be receiving a little more clarity concerning their favourite team’s gameday roster.
As TSN’s Dave Naylor reports: “CFL teams have been directed by the league to put ‘GTD’ next to any player on the depth chart who will be a ‘game time decision.’ This is to try and ease confusion and better communicate game status.”
Some CFL teams already began that process in earnest this week, denoting some players on their depth chart with a ‘Q’ for ‘questionable.’ Now it appears teams will have official directives for how to announce such circumstances.
The move comes after accusations of intentional deception were leveled at the B.C. Lions. With Michael Reilly facing elbow soreness, the team switched their starting quarterback during the pre-game warmup in consecutive weeks to start the season.
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 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 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.