Jacob Ruby addresses ‘mistake’ from 2021, confirms he’s now vaccinated against COVID-19

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

The Ottawa Redblacks signed Canadian offensive lineman Jacob Ruby on Monday after he was temporarily barred from league after misrepresenting his vaccination status during the 2021 season.

“Anytime that you make a mistake, I don’t think anyone likes to do that. I think that when you do, you take time to reflect on it and find ways to make yourself better. And through that I’m confident I was able to do that and when that does happen, it might take someone to believe in you to try to pull you through that,” Ruby told TSN 1200.

“I’ve had numerous conversations and tough, tough conversations and we were able to move through that and look forward to what’s to come.”

Ruby started three games at left guard for the Edmonton Elks last season prior to his release from the club. He apologized for misrepresenting his vaccination status six weeks after being cut and remained a free agent until Monday when the Redblacks signed him to a two-year deal. He also confirmed that he is now fully vaccinated.

“Obviously, going through the whole process [my vaccination status] was going to be something people asked, were curious about and wanted to know. And rightfully so in my situation. People want to know if you’re going to be available to go to away games, so I understood the question,” said Ruby.

“It is a personal thing, it’s a very personal thing that’s up to everybody individually. Given my situation, obviously that was going to be the first question. Honestly, it’s going to be really difficult to be an athlete in Canada if you don’t make that choice.”

Ruby was pleased to sign with a team relatively close to his hometown of London, Ont. and has family that lives in Ottawa full-time. The Redblacks certainly needed help along the offensive line after allowing a league-worst 53 sacks in 2021, which was 13 more than any other team.

“The great thing about this league and about the people that are in it and run it, they can look further than one situation to kinda find out what kind of person you are. I think that through my time in the league I’ve proven that and one moment, one incident doesn’t define your career, it doesn’t define who you are,” said Ruby.

“I think that’s what we’re all set on is the future. It doesn’t matter what team you’re on or what league you’re in or what profession you are, we’re all looking forward to 2022 and putting some of those things that happened in 2021 behind us and just moving on.”

The 30-year-old was a first-round pick out of the University of Richmond in the 2015 CFL Draft and has since appeared in 63 career CFL games with Montreal and Edmonton. He’s excited to hit the ground running in Ottawa where he will likely be a starter at guard come the first week of the season.

“It’s something that was definitely out there that was tough on me, tough on the family, but we’re on the other side of it and just thrilled to be in Ottawa and looking forward to going to work here,” said Ruby.