TORONTO — Nick Arbuckle made his first CFL start in more than two years a memorable one – and rewarded starved Argonauts fans with a victory in their first home game in nearly two years.
Arbuckle threw one touchdown pass and dove in for his own to lift the Argos to a 30-23 victory over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, in Toronto’s long-awaited return to BMO Field on Saturday.
Moments after the win, he scooped up his 15-month-old daughter Aaliyah, who wore a custom-made No. 9 Argos jersey. Aaliyah wasn’t yet born the last time her dad started a CFL game, with Calgary in 2019.
“This was the first game that my daughter’s ever been to. And we got the win,” Arbuckle said with a grin.
DaVaris Daniels scored on the reception, while D.J. Foster added a rushing touchdown for Toronto (2-1).
Darvin Adams and Rasheed Bailey had touchdown receptions for the Bombers (2-1), while Jesse Briggs scooped up a fumble and ran 83 yards in Winnipeg’s first loss of this abbreviated season.
The victory was revenge for Toronto, who dropped a 20-7 decision in Winnipeg a week earlier. It was also a fitting victory for the Argos, who hadn’t played a game at their BMO Field home for 665 lone days – not since a big 39-9 victory over Ottawa on Oct. 26, 2019. Then the global COVID-19 pandemic erased the 2020 CFL season.
“It’s great,” Argos rookie head coach Ryan Dinwiddie said. “We were happy to be playing at home, show them the new Argos, so we appreciated it.”
A smiling Argos general manager Pinball Clemons took the mic pre-game to address the sundrenched 9,866 fans in attendance on a steamy 28 C afternoon. Ontario COVID-19 guidelines allowed for 15,000 fans at the game.
“Hopefully we can get some more guys coming to our next game, and we can build off that,” Dinwiddie said. “We want to build relations with the fans . . . players are out there now shaking hands and doing those things to let them know we appreciate them.”
Arbuckle made his Argonauts debut a week earlier when Dinwiddie sent him in the second half in place of veteran McLeod Bethel-Thompson. Dinwiddie had said there was a sense of familiarity with Arbuckle, as Dinwiddie had been the quarterbacks coach in Calgary when Arbuckle played there.
The 27-year-old quarterback completed 23-of-32 pass attempts for 310 yards, with one touchdown and no interceptions.
Bombers QB Zach Collaros was 18 of 33 for 204 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Boris Bede booted three field goals for Toronto, from 52, 31 and 37 yards.
The tone of the game changed early in the second half when Daniels took a massive hit from Brandon Alexander that knocked his helmet off before he hit the ground. Daniels was down for several nervous minutes before he was helped off the field. Alexander was whistled for unnecessary roughness – and a 15-yard penalty – on the play.
“That changed the attitude of the offence a little bit,” Arbuckle said. “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get going and score as many points after that as we wanted to. We were all kind of playing with a little bit of an edge and unfortunately kind of showed up in the (referee’s) whistle a few times, but we felt like we needed to protect a guy that they injured with what we felt like was a cheap shot.”
Foster scored Toronto’s first touchdown of the game, running it in from 10 yards out at 7:39 of the first to cap a 61-yard touchdown drive from Arbuckle.
Former Argos QB Collaros had a pass attempt picked off by Dexter McCoil Sr., that led to an Argos field goal that summed up the Bombers’ slow start to the game.
Bede booted two field goals in the quarter and Toronto led 13-0 to start the second quarter.
The Bombers finally got on the scoreboard when Jackson Jeffcoat batted the ball out of Arbuckle’s hands from behind. Briggs scooped up the ball and sprinted virtually unchallenged for an 83-yard touchdown at 3:14 of the second.
Winnipeg pulled to within 16-14 on Adams’ 51-yard touchdown catch at 12:04 of the second.
Arbuckle threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Daniels to cap a 63-yard drive that sent Toronto into the dressing room at halftime with a 22-14 lead.
Arbuckle tossed a 31-yard pass to rookie Dejon Brissett – brother of Indiana Pacers/former Toronto Raptor power forward Oshae Brissett – that put Toronto on the one-yard line. Arbuckle muscled his way in for the touchdown at 7:55 of the third for a 29-15 lead.
The Bombers made things interesting in the final minutes when Collaros capped his 83-yard drive with a seven-yard TD pass to Bailey at 12:48 to slice the difference to seven points. But it was too little too late.
“You can tell from our demeanour right now that we’re upset about that,” Alexander said. “We laid an egg on our side. You can’t do nothing about it now, but just go back and watch film and correct a couple things. We all left a lot of plays out there, myself included.”
Bombers special teams ace Mike Miller had two tackles on the afternoon to break the CFL all-time special teams record. He now has 191, topping the 190 tackles by Jason Arakgi (2008-2016 with the B.C. Lions).
Because of COVID-19, the CFL pushed back the start of the season by nearly two months, and shortened the regular season from 18 to 14 games with no pre-season.
The Argos host the Edmonton Eskimos on Thursday, while the Blue Bombers return home to host Calgary on Aug. 29.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 21, 2021.
COVID-19: Rogers Centre, Scotiabank Arena among Ontario facilities to see major capacity limit increase – Global News
The Ontario government has announced a major boost of maximum COVID-19-related capacity limits at major outdoor and indoor sporting venues, such as the Rogers Centre and Scotiabank Arena in downtown Toronto.
“With public health and health-care indicators currently stable and proof of vaccination now in effect, we are able to recommend cautiously easing capacity limits in certain settings,” Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, said in an update Friday afternoon, noting the increases will mostly be in places where vaccine proof is required.
“Increasing capacity limits does not mean we can let our guard down. We must remain cautious and humble in the face of this Delta variant.”
Moore said the revised rules will take effect as of 12:01 a.m. on Saturday.
At indoor meeting and event spaces (convention and conference centres, banquet halls etc.), theatres, cinemas, concerts, sports events, racing venues and commercial TV and film shoots with audiences will be able to increase the number of people in attendance to up to 50 per cent of approved capacity or 10,000 people (whichever is less).
For outdoor event spaces where it is standing room only for patrons, up to 75 per cent of approved capacity or 15,000 people (whichever is less) will now be allowed.
COVID-19: Ontario expands capacity limits for some indoor, outdoor settings
When it comes to outdoor event venues where people are seated, up to 75 per cent of approved capacity or 30,000 people (whichever is less) can now be accommodated.
Officials said seated outdoor venues can see higher numbers of people because mobility is less and therefore it reduces the risk of potential transmission of COVID-19.
The announcement came just a day after the Toronto Blue Jays announced the release of additional seats for the final six home games of the regular season, citing ongoing discussions with Premier Doug Ford’s office and Moore. The team said the increase would be in line with public health measures.
In an update right after Moore’s announcement, the Jays announced the 500L section at the Rogers Centre would be reopening to visitors now that up to 30,000 fans will be permitted to attend.
The current capacity limit at the Rogers Centre under Ontario’s COVID-19 regulations is 15,000 fans. At Scotiabank Arena, the limit was capped at 1,000 fans. Both venues have vaccination policies in place.
When Moore was asked why he is recommending these changes now, he said the COVID-19 situation in Ontario has been stable for several weeks and the province needs to have a “balanced and proportionate public health response” to the pandemic.
“For the majority (of attendees), they will be protected through vaccination, they will be wearing masks, they will be screening and monitoring for any symptoms … and I do think that is a much safer environment that we can start to safely and cautiously open,” he said, calling the recent implementation of vaccine certificates a “game-changer.”
“We’ll monitor these caps over the coming weeks to make sure this process remains safe. I’m confident that we can do this safely, and slowly, and cautiously because we all need balance. We’ve made sacrifices over the last year and a half and so have these businesses, and I think this will allow them to open safely and not be sources of infection or outbreak.”
As for how long vaccine certificates will be needed to access many indoor public settings, Moore suggested the program could be in place until the winter.
He went on to say as part of the provincial government’s gradual approach to reopening, it will assess other settings where capacity limits could be eased. He also pointed to early modelling on cases that suggested there could be a sharp rise of cases after Christmas.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
NBA denies Canadian Andrew Wiggins of religious exemption to skip COVID-19 vaccine – CBC.ca
The NBA has denied Canadian Andrew Wiggins’s request for a vaccination exemption, leaving the Golden State Warriors swingman ineligible to play home games until he meets San Francisco’s vaccination requirement.
The ruling was announced Friday, hours after the New York Knicks said their entire roster is vaccinated, making all their players eligible to play in their home games.
Because of local coronavirus regulations in New York and San Francisco, the Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and Warriors are required to be vaccinated to play in their home arenas unless exemptions for medical or religious reasons apply.
Wiggins, from Vaughan, Ont., sought an exemption from the league for religious reasons.
“The NBA has reviewed and denied Andrew Wiggins’s request for religious exemption from the San Francisco Department of Public Health’s order requiring COVID-19 vaccination for all participants age 12 and older at large indoor events,” the league said in a statement.
“Wiggins will not be able to play in Warriors home games until he fulfils the city’s vaccination requirements.”
NBA says unvaccinated players can play
Unvaccinated players are allowed to play this season, though the NBA has said that they will have to be tested daily on practice and travel days, and at least once — possibly more — on game days. Fully vaccinated players will not be subject to daily testing.
However, the Knicks, Nets and Warriors face stricter rules because of their local regulations, which the NBA has told teams do not apply to visiting clubs.
WATCH | ‘Bring It In’ panel discusses vaccine passports’ effect on sports:
The Knicks are the first of those teams to say they have met the mandate.
Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks said earlier this week that a couple players wouldn’t yet be eligible, but he was confident everyone would be able to participate by the time the regular season begins on Oct. 19.
Local mandate not yet in effect
Wiggins still has time, as San Francisco’s mandate doesn’t take effect until the middle of next month. Training camps open Tuesday.
The NBA has struck agreements this off-season to have virtually all parties involved in games — referees, coaches, stat-crew workers and anyone else who will be in close proximity to players on or off the court in NBA arenas — vaccinated in order to participate.
The one exception: The players themselves, with the National Basketball Players Association rebuking all efforts from the NBA to mandate that they be vaccinated. About 85 per cent of players were vaccinated at the end of last season. The league-wide figure is believed to have increased since.
2020 Ryder Cup pairings: U.S. runs it back, Rory McIlroy out for Saturday foursomes – Golf Channel
After his team dug itself a 6-2 hole on Friday at the Ryder Cup, European captain Padraig Harrington had some decisions to make when deciding on his pairings for Saturday morning’s foursomes session.
One pressing question was whether he’d sit Rory McIlroy for the first time in McIlroy’s cup career. McIlroy had played in every session since making his debut in 2010 (26 for 26), but he’d dropped both his team-play matches on Friday at Whistling Straits while failing to reach the 16th hole in either one.
Ultimately, Harrington decided that his visiting side’s best chance at a comeback was to sit McIlroy on Saturday morning.
“We have plenty of options on our team,” Harrington said. “Spoiled for choice in many ways, and yeah … I’m very comfortable again with the team I’ve put out tomorrow. Wait and see in each of those matches whether they can create their own momentum and then bring that to the team.”
McIlroy and Poulter, who lost in foursomes on Friday morning, will both be benched, while Harrington will mix things up slightly elsewhere, splitting Paul Casey and Viktor Hovland, and pairing them with Tyrrell Hatton and Bernd Wiesberger, respectively. Two of Europe’s foursomes pairings are intact: Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia, and Lee Westwood and Matt Fitzpatrick.
Meanwhile, on the American side, captain Steve Stricker is going back to the well, keeping all four of his previous foursomes teams. All but Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth won on Friday morning, though Thomas helped lead a four-ball rally alongside Patrick Cantlay on Friday afternoon as the U.S. duo tied Hovland and Tommy Fleetwood.
Cantlay reunites with Xander Schauffele, who is 2-0. Dustin Johnson, also 2-0, reunites with Collin Morikawa.
“We had one other group that we were thinking about putting out, but it went so well this morning that I figured why mess things up and change things up at all,” Stricker said. “We changed the order a little bit is all, but we kept the same pairings.”
The U.S. leads by four points, its largest advantage after Day 1 since 1975. History is on the Americans’ side, too, as just once in five previous instances since 1979 (the year that the Great Britain and Ireland side was expanded to include continental Europe) has a team coughed up a lead of more than three points after the opening day.
Here are the matchups and starting times for Saturday morning’s foursomes session:
8:05 a.m. ET: Koepka/Berger vs. Rahm/Garcia
8:21 a.m.: Johnson/Morikawa vs. Casey/Hatton
8:37 a.m.: Thomas/Spieth vs. Hovland/Wiesberger
8:53 a.m.: Schauffele/Cantlay vs. Westwood/Fitzpatrick
A Canadian COVID-19 study that turned out to be wrong has spread like wildfire among anti-vaxxers – CBC.ca
200,000-year-old handprints may be the world's oldest artwork, scientists say – CBC.ca
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Europe kicks off vaccination programs | All media content | DW | 27.12.2020 – Deutsche Welle
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