Toronto Argonauts, CFL face unique challenges because of COVID-19

General Manager Michael Clemons of the Toronto Argonauts talks to a player prior to a game against the Ottawa RedBlacks at BMO Field. (Photo by John E. Sokolowski/Getty Images)
General Manager Michael Clemons of the Toronto Argonauts talks to a player prior to a game against the Ottawa RedBlacks at BMO Field. (Photo by John E. Sokolowski/Getty Images) /

The CFL season could be delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Toronto Argonauts will have to find a way to adapt.

With the NHL, NBA and MLB seasons on hold because of the COVID-19 outbreak, it appears the CFL and the Toronto Argonauts are planning for a similar situation.

While training camps will not start on May 17 which is when players were scheduled to report, that’s only a small part of the concern the CFL is trying to deal with. As of right now, commissioner Randy Ambrosie says the draft will go on as scheduled.

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Now, the draft is held in a different format than most with management conducting their picks from their offices and teams hosting draft parties for fans and season ticket holders. Unless there is a change in the number of people who can attend a gathering, the draft might have to be altered a bit.

When it comes to the regular season, there is the idea of a shortened 2020 season with 12 games being floated around. How will those impact players? Well, former Argos quarterback Zach Collaros offered his opinion on the subject.

"“We play a lot of games as it is,” Collaros told the Winnipeg Sun. “College plays what, 11 or 12 games. And that’s a proper championship when you win down there. The bottom line is guys want to play.“And guys want to make their money, too. That’s another factor. Nobody really knows what’s going to happen on that end.”"

In the Argos case, the new coaching staff will have to adjust to the situation that will be presented to them if they cannot start camp on time. According to Frank Zicarelli of the Toronto Sun, newly-appointed head coach Ryan Dinwiddie was expecting to meet his staff in Toronto in order to prepare for the draft and training camp.

Dinwiddie has been hard at work getting the playbook together which will then have to be shared with the players.

"“What I’m working on now is finalization the installation of our playbook,” said Dinwiddie. “That’ll still take a few more weeks.”"

For the Argos, the draft is something the team prepares during the season with director of Canadian Scouting Vince Magri going to various schools across the country to meet with players, coaches and looking at game film.

In an interview with Mike Hogan of, Magri explains how not having combines presents its challenges for player evaluations especially for a team that has four picks ( second, ninth, 11th and 20th) in the early going.

"“Where people place the most value would be misconstrued,” Magri explained. “Getting an official height, weight, hand size, arm length, and wingspan is important. The medical and the in-person interviews are by far the most important parts.”"

Considering the way the coronavirus has been able to spread rapidly especially with people travelling and coming into contact with other people who could have COVID-19 but not showing symptoms.

This is still a crucial period for the Argos as they have made it clear that they want to improve the Canadian depth they have because that opens up more possibilities when it comes to constructing the roster.

Just look at how they approached free agency, they didn’t just try to get some quality American players but also went after Canadians in key positions that they might have used an American for.

Given how the updates surrounding COVID-19 have been coming almost daily, the CFL will probably have to take a wait and see approach with their plans for the season.

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What do you think about the current predicament the CFL could be in with the coronavirus? Do you think it will impact the draft or the regular season? Let us know in the comments below.