CFL MUST Take Action Against 'No Class' Montreal Alouette - Dwight Anderson
The left eye of the Saskatchewan Roughriders slotback was bloodshot when the CFL team returned to Regina, but he said the damage was done not by extended time on a plane but by the right thumb of Montreal Alouettes defensive back Dwight Anderson.
In the fourth quarter of the Roughriders' 27-24 victory over the host Als on Sunday, Anderson was penalized for unnecessary roughness. Television replays showed him grabbing Dressler's helmet and sticking his fingers inside Dressler's facemask.
Dressler's eye showed that one of Anderson's digits hit home.
"It's definitely surprising," Dressler said after the Roughriders landed at Regina International Airport. "You try to play this game and respect your opponents and your teammates. For a guy to do something like that, I really don't know what to say about it."
"We're going to pursue (disciplinary action by the CFL) because that was definitely intent to injure," Roughriders head coach Greg Marshall noted. "If the league is making statements about certain types of things going on in the game, then there's certainly no room for that."
That sentiment was shared by Roughriders slotback Jason Clermont ("Obviously that's not a part of football") and quarterback Darian Durant ("You don't have to go that far").
"I know Dwight off the field, so that's what makes it tough," Durant continued. "He really didn't have to do that and I'm pretty sure that he knows he got caught up in the heat of the moment of the game.
"But of course I don't agree with that. I don't think there's any room for that."
The two teams have previous experience this season with the league taking disciplinary action. Roughriders rookie safety Craig Butler was fined $750 for a helmet-to-helmet hit he put on Als slotback S.J. Green when the teams met July 9 at Mosaic Stadium. Butler subsequently appealed the fine.
The incident Sunday was the culmination of a pitched battle between Dressler and Anderson during the contest. The clash featured Anderson taking a few shots at Dressler and constantly jabbering at the Roughriders' star slotback.
"I just kind of zone him out during a game," said Dressler, who earlier in the contest escaped Anderson's coverage for a 75-yard passand-run touchdown. "I'm not sure what he was saying most of the time. I don't know if he said anything or not at that point. I just felt one thumb on my eye and I felt him really dig into it ...
"It caught me off guard a little bit, but I guess anything's possible with him out there."
After the incident, Clermont approached Anderson and said something. Asked Monday what his message was, Clermont replied: "I'd rather just keep that on the field."
"I went over and talked to him a little bit, said my piece and he kind of backed down and that was it," Clermont continued. "I didn't know what had happened at the time, to be honest. I just saw Weston on the ground."
The Roughriders are more than familiar with Anderson, who spent the previous three seasons with the Calgary Stampeders. The 32-year-old signed with Montreal as a free agent in the off-season.
For Dressler, his head-tohead matchup with Anderson on Sunday was typical of their previous run-ins.
"He's always one of those guys who wants to do those types of things out there," said Dressler, who declined to comment on the prospect of the CFL disciplining Anderson. "As a player going against him, you've just got to keep your cool and keep your head in the game and not worry about him."
Dressler said he had some blurred vision in the eye after the incident and overnight, but it was gradually clearing up Monday. Dressler, who planned to visit an optometrist to make sure there wasn't any damage to the eyeball, expects to play Saturday against the visiting Stampeders.
The biggest concern for Dressler about the incident was the Lasik surgery he had in the off-season, after which doctors told him to protect his eyes. In the wake of Sunday's incident, he's pondering another piece of protection.
"I've never been a fan of putting a visor on - I feel like it can obstruct your view at times and you can get dirt or rain on it - but now I may look into it," Dressler said. "I've definitely thought of it."
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CFL Fines Anderson an undisclosed amount (it damn well better have been sustantial!) ....