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TORONTO — The CFL suspended Saskatchewan Roughriders receiver Duke Williams and Toronto Argonauts defensive lineman Eli Mencer both for one game Wednesday for separate incidents in their game last weekend.
Williams was suspended for a pre-game altercation Saturday with Toronto defensive back Shaq Richardson. Williams threw Richardson's helmet at him before the two players were finally separated.
No penalties were issued once the game in Wolfville, N.S. began and both players were able to participate. Toronto defeated Saskatchewan 30-24 at Raymond Field but afterwards Argos head coach Ryan Dinwiddie accused Williams of twice spitting in Richardson's face.
During the 2019 season, Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett ripped the helmet off Pittsburgh's Mason Rudolph and hit the Steelers quarterback in the head during a regular-season game. Garrett was suspended indefinitely by the NFL and missed Cleveland's final six regular-season games before being reinstated by the league in February 2020.
Garrett reportedly lost US$1.2 million in pay for the six missed games and was also fined $45,623.
Mencer's penalty came for derogatory language towards an official during the same game.
The CFL also handed Richardson a maximum fine (half a game cheque) for initiating a confrontation with Williams when he crossed into Saskatchewan’s territory. The league added Richardson later punched Williams during the game.
"Such pre-game hostilities are unacceptable and the use of a helmet as a weapon is especially dangerous," CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie said in a statement. "Neither is to be tolerated."
The CFL didn't address Dinwiddie's accusations.
It's the second time in as many weeks a Riders player has been suspended by the league. Defensive lineman Garrett Marino was banned for four games for a low hit that injured Ottawa quarterback Jeremiah Masoli in a 28-13 win July 8 and his ensuing celebration.
Toronto and Saskatchewan are scheduled to meet again Saturday in Regina.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 20, 2022.
The Canadian Press