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26-Year-Old CFL Defensive Lineman Retires After Myocarditis Diagnosis


The Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League announced Monday that national defensive lineman Connor McGough has been placed on the retired list.

The 26-year-old, Medicine Hat, Alta. native played for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats from 2017-2019, appearing in 51 games, recording 14 defensive tackles and 33 special teams tackles, one sack and two forced fumbles.

McGough joined the Calgary Stampeders but spent the 2021 season on the retired list while recovering from myocarditis.

“Unfortunately, due to health reasons, I am retiring from football,” said McGough in a statement issued by the Stampeders.

From the Calgary Stampeders:

“It is very unfortunate but it’s important I take care of myself and get healthy. I’d like to thank the Stampeders organization for staying by my side during everything and for being so supportive. I wish all the players and staff a great season.”

McGough re-signed with the Stamps on Feb. 24 after spending the 2021 season on the retired list while recovering from myocarditis.

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“It’s very unfortunate that Connor’s medical condition did not improve to a point that would allow him to continue his football career,” said Stampeders president and general manager John Hufnagel. “On behalf of the organization, I wish him good health and the best of luck in his future endeavours.”

From the CBC October 2021:

Eight of nine CFL teams have met the 85 per cent full vaccinated threshold for COVID-19, the league announced Thursday.

There was no immediate indication regarding the one team yet to reach the threshold.

But the CFL anticipates 93 per cent of current players will be fully vaccinated by Oct. 31 based on upcoming scheduled vaccination data.

The fully vaccinated reference is for individuals who’ve had their second dose for a minimum of 14 days.
The Calgary Sun noted:
There are still a few holdouts, but the Calgary Stampeders have met the CFL’s 85% full-vaccinated threshold for COVID-19.
The league announced Thursday morning that eight of its nine teams had at least 85% of its players full-vaccinated and the Stampeders confirmed shortly afterwards they were one of the teams that were above that mark.
“I believe we are. I believe we got there and I really do want to commend our guys,” said Stamps head coach Dave Dickenson. “There are a few guys still, though, who are thinking about it, so we’ve kind of not focused as a team on that, because everybody’s part of the Calgary Stampeders. I think people are seeing the reality of what life is and the vaccine is FDA-approved now, so I really feel like it’s been an easier sell and I’m glad we are there.”
Beyond the obvious health and safety benefits, getting 85% of players fully-vaccinated means the Stampeders won’t forfeit their game cheques if there is an outbreak that causes one of their remaining games to be cancelled and it cannot be re-scheduled.
But having any unvaccinated players, at all, could still create headaches down the road. TSN’s Dave Naylor reported this week that “any players not able to travel with their teams to road games once the federal government invokes its mandate on vaccinations for air and rail travel on Nov. 30th will be put on a suspended list and not paid for any missed games.”
Both the West Final, on Dec. 5, and the Grey Cup on Dec. 12, would be affected. If the Stampeders are to qualify for the West Final, that almost definitely means a trip to Winnipeg for a game against the Blue Bombers is in order. The Stamps would either need to bus everyone or leave unvaccinated players behind while the rest of the team flew.
It’s understood there is at least one veteran Stampeders player who is unvaccinated, so this could legitimately become an issue down the line.


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