The Montreal Alouettes needed to pare down their roster to meet league limits on Monday and Michael Sam does not appear on it.
Instead, Sam appears on Montreal’s “suspended” list.
“A player who violates his contract with the Club may, upon application to the Commissioner, be placed on the League Suspension List as defined in Section 9, Item C of the CFL By-laws,” the CFL states. “Players placed on the Suspended List do not count against the active roster or reserve list limits. Most commonly being placed on the suspended list is the result of a player not reporting to training camp or leaving the team/not attending practice during the season without team approval.”
The defensive end skipped town on Friday for reasons that remain unknown. A statement released by the team indicated Sam had sought and received permission to leave. But subsequent remarks by the coach and GM indicate otherwise.
General manager Jim Popp told The Montreal Gazette:
There’s nothing to tell you. He wanted to go home, and that’s what he did. I don’t know why. When a guy wants to go home, they go home. He had some personal things to take care of. I wouldn’t be surprised if he returns. I’m surprised he left. I was very surprised. If he doesn’t come back, I would think football’s over for him. He’s the one that has to face that. But I don’t think he doesn’t want to play football. That’s why he came here.
Sam’s departure remains shrouded in mystery, with headaches, relationship troubles, and a cutting remark made by a teammate about his ability cited in various venues as reasons for his abrupt exit from Montreal. The Alouettes released six players, including former Colts and Steelers running back Chris Rainey, on Monday. Sam’s appearance on the suspension list allows the Alouettes to retain his rights without wasting an active roster spot on him.