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The CFL will add an eighth official to the field to monitor blows to the head or neck of quarterbacks for the remaining games of the 2018 playoffs.
The initiative is considered an interim measure and will be re-evaluated in the offseason, according to TSN’s David Naylor. The league discussed the decision for several days with all nine teams before moving forward.
“It is very important that this sort of potentially dangerous play is penalized on the field in addition to being subject to supplementary discipline. Not only is it important to the integrity of the game, it can act as a deterrent,” commissioner Randy Ambrosie said in the statement.
“That is why we are adding an additional set of eyes, with a strictly limited but well-defined mandate, to our officiating crew. No system is fail-safe and no human is incapable of error. And nothing we do on player safety should be held up as the ultimate solution. Our approach must constantly evolve. But we believe this is a step forward. We will continue to look for ways to not only penalize dangerous play but, more importantly, prevent it.”
Ambrosie released a statement Sunday about a hit on Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback Brandon Bridge during the Western semifinal, saying the league would look into allowing its command center to make calls on plays related to player health and safety.