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Football Redblacks defensive back Jonathan Rose appeals suspension; Grey Cup status uncertain

Ottawa Redblacks' Jonathan Rose is escorted off the field during the CFL East Division final on Nov. 18, 2018.

Sean Kilpatrick/The Associated Press

Ottawa Redblacks defensive back Jonathan Rose has appealed his suspension for the Grey Cup game, putting his status for the CFL final up in the air.

The CFL announced Tuesday that the Redblacks starter has been assessed a one-game suspension for pushing an official during Ottawa’s East final win against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats last Sunday.

However, Rose appealed the suspension hours later, and a CFL source told The Canadian Press it is unlikely an arbitrator will be able to hear the case and make a decision before Sunday’s Grey Cup game between the Redblacks and Calgary Stampeders in Edmonton.

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The Redblacks travelled to Edmonton on Tuesday and are scheduled to hold their first practice of the week on Wednesday.

Rose, a CFL East Division all-star this season as well as in 2016, was flagged for unnecessary roughness and ejected for contacting an official with 37 seconds left in the first half following a sideline melee after a Tiger-Cats reception.

Canadian Justin Howell filled in for Rose the rest of the game.

“We are extremely reluctant to take an action that could prevent an athlete from joining his teammates for what may be the most important game of his life,” the CFL said in a statement on Tuesday. “But there is an another principle at stake, one which has very significant implications for our league and sport in general.

“If we fail to send a strong signal when there is physical abuse of an official, whatever the circumstances, we risk sending the wrong message to not only the athletes in our league but young and aspiring athletes, coaches and even parents throughout sport. Officials are an important part of athletic competition, responsible for its integrity. While their contributions too often go unsung, we cannot allow them to be disrespected or, worse, abused.”

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