Big surprise! A CFL official made a mistake. He didn’t call a penalty against B.C. Lions defensive end Odell Willis for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback Zach Collaros.
When the play was challenged on video review, a roughing-the-passer penalty was assessed. But the league’s medical spotter didn’t immediately recommend Collaros, who was obviously wobbly, be removed from the game.
The fact the Roughriders were involved — actually, the fact it hurt the Roughriders — made this into a bigger-than-usual issue. When it happened in reverse like it did earlier this season when Roughriders defensive tackle Zack Evans wasn’t penalized for smashing into Edmonton Eskimos quarterback Mike Reilly, the clamour died down quickly.
Now there are calls to fire the referee. To suspend Willis. To fix the concussion protocol. To change the rules, so a coach can get another video challenge when such an obvious call is missed. In this case, the CFL admitted it made a mistake and vowed to consider fine-tuning the rules.