Trevor Harris calls for Riders’ DL Garrett Marino to be suspended without pay for rest of CFL season

Photo courtesy: Saskatchewan Roughriders

Montreal Alouettes’ quarterback Trevor Harris has called for Saskatchewan Roughriders’ defensive lineman Garrett Marino to be suspended without pay for the rest of the 2022 CFL regular season following an illegal hit on Ottawa Redblacks’ quarterback Jeremiah Masoli.

“This is something that I got heated about and if you want my real opinion, I think they should suspend Garrett Marino for the rest of the football season without pay. I know that might be a lot — that’s harsh — but Jeremiah Masoli I just saw is out for ten to twelve weeks. Is he going to get paid? Yeah, but if you look at what Marino did, the intent was to try and hurt him,” Harris told Natey Adjei on the All Ball Podcast.

“Something has to be done and it has to be drastic because this is a great league — it’s a tremendous league — but now you’re affecting franchises by putting Jeremiah Masoli out for an extended period of time. That’s a big loss for them. That’s their leader, he’s one of the top quarterbacks in the league — a great man, a great leader — and it’s a significant injury. For [Marino] to just be able to come back and play in two games, what’s the harm in that for him? I don’t know if the punishment fits the crime if he’s only suspended two games.”

The CFL has rarely handed out multi-game suspensions for on-field incidents with the most recent being Simoni Lawrence’s hit on Zach Collaros in 2019. The perennial all-star linebacker appealed the suspension, though it was upheld by an arbitrator following a month-long review.

Kyries Hebert was also issued a two-game suspension in September 2018 when he struck Montreal Alouettes’ receiver B.J. Cunningham in the side of the head. It was Hebert’s second suspension of the season as he was forced to miss one game after targeting the head of Calgary Stampeders’ receiver DaVaris Daniels three months prior.

The league is currently reviewing Marino’s ejection with supplemental discipline expected to be announced in the near future. Riders’ head coach Craig Dickenson revealed on CKRM in Regina that the team will fine Marino and sit him out this week against the Toronto Argonauts regardless of what the league decides.

Harris expressed concern regarding the ongoing pattern of dangerous behaviour Marino has exhibited, claiming that he has twice been targeted by Marino in the past. Though neither hit caused him to miss games, both negatively affected his health.

“I’ve got two clips of Garrett Marino going low and hitting me in the knee twice,” said Harris. “I still have numbness in one of my legs and the other knee swelled up pretty good. I don’t know if he was being intentional with me so I gave it a pass because I didn’t know anything about him (at the time).”

Marino has recorded 18 defensive tackles and five sacks through only twelve career CFL games, which is an impressive level of production from an interior defensive lineman. He’s arguably one of Saskatchewan’s best defensive players, which is why Harris expressed his disappointment in Marino’s overly-aggressive style of play.

“It’s unfortunate because he’s a really good football player,” said Harris. “He’s very powerful, he’s strong, he’s fast, he’s explosive, he’s a good football player but you can’t have that. It’s just not acceptable and I hope the league makes a statement on it and comes out with something that hasn’t been done before.”