Through the last months, the CFL has been very quiet. Of course with no 2020 season, it’s been tough to break any news or anything of that sort, although the players have been open to speak out about the lack of updates for the future of the league. At times, we’ve all questioned whether the CFL will be back in 2021 and with the recent news given by the league, things are starting to look positive.
Just on Friday, November 20th which would have been the start to the 2020 CFL Grey Cup weekend, the league released the potential 2021 CFL schedule. The season isn’t set in stone just yet, and there is a long way for it to be, but its something to get excited for as we roll in closer to the new year, 2021.
On the schedule for the 2021 CFL season, the league has the Redblacks’ opening up against Montreal back-to-back-to-back games. In 2021 the team will face off against the Alouettes twice in the pre-season, and they will study the pre-season film against the team to try and beat them week one of the season at home at TD Place on June 11th.
Of course with the majority of players on both teams listed as free-agents because of the contracts and the covid-19 guidelines set by the league, the matchup as of now for the Alouettes and Redblacks is highlighted as either Khari Jones vs Paul LaPolice or Vernon Adams vs Nick Arbuckle.
Following the three games against the Alouettes, the Redblacks will then face Saskatchewan in Week 2 where they will go up against newly extended quarterback Cody Fajardo.
Week 3 for Ottawa is a bye, but will go and play 5 straight divisional games following that bye week. Going up against Toronto in week 4, then back-to-back against Hamilton, back up against the Argos and then before heading west they will play their second regular season game against the Alouettes in week 8.
Of all the divisional matchups found early on in the season, the most exciting ones and the ones that have always been close games will come against the Tiger-Cats. With Dane Evans likely returning to the team, you can expect a similar team to what they had last season when they went to the Grey Cup and with a new staff in Ottawa as well as a new team pending the 2021 free-agency period, we could see more rivalry games against Hamilton like we are used to seeing from past years.
Playing out the majority of the in-division games in the first 8 weeks, the Redblacks’ will then go out and play the west division in back-to-back weeks. Hosting the Blue Bombers in week 9 where we will see coach Paul LaPolice face his old team and then in Week 10 we have the chance to watch Arbuckle play his former team at Calgary.
The two west coast games, being against former teams of the head coach and quarterback will be big games and statement games as well because of the fact that Winnipeg is still coming off that 2019 Grey Cup win and Calgary’s historical success over recent years but the team can’t be tired heading into week 11 when the Redblacks’ face the improved Toronto Argonauts.
After playing the Argos, in Week 12 the Ottawa Redblacks’ will be going head to head with the “West coast Redblacks” led by former Ottawa quarterback Trevor Harris.
Week 13 will come down to another divisional game against the Alouettes, it being the fifth of the six matchups found in the schedule, 2 of which being pre-season games. Following the Montreal game, the Redblacks’ will once again play against a familiar face going up against longtime Ottawa Redblacks’ coach Rick Campbell and his BC Lions.
The game against the Lions will, just like all of the games on the schedule be a big one, having a quarterback like Mike Reilly on the other sidelines is always tough, but with Arbuckle now a Redblack it could be exciting.
Week 15 will serve as a bye week for the Redblacks’ and they will then gear up for Hamilton, Winnipeg, Montreal and Saskatchewan before their bye heading into a week 21 matchup at home against the Lions.
All in all, the 2021 CFL schedule looks alright for the Ottawa Redblacks. of course looking at the first three games of the season being against the Alouettes, we should be able to build a good rivalry in that divisional series and they should all turn out to be good, hard fought games like the other 17 games on the year.
Lets all hope and pray that we can see a 2021 CFL season and that we can be back in TD Place come May!