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COVID-19 'starts to hit home' with CFL's first reported case

Edmonton Eskimos running back John White (30) is pursued by Ottawa Redblacks linebacker Travis Brown (43) at Commonwealth Stadium on July 11, 2014.
Edmonton Eskimos running back John White (30) is pursued by Ottawa Redblacks linebacker Travis Brown (43) at Commonwealth Stadium on July 11, 2014.

The Canadian Football League is not immune to COVID-19.

Not than anyone thought they were, but when a familiar face gets diagnosed, things start getting real.

Travis Brown, who spent the past two seasons as the Edmonton Eskimos linebackers coach, played two years in the CFL as a linebacker with the Ottawa Redblacks in 2014-15.

“I saw he was diagnosed the other day,” said Redblacks offensive lineman Mark Korte, who was drafted by Ottawa in the first round in 2018. “I never crossed paths with him.”

But Korte is teammates with former teammates of Brown, who is currently with the B.C. Lions coaching staff. On Friday, the Lions, while not giving a name, reported the CFL’s first case of COVID-19 within its football operations staff.

“Yeah, it starts to hit home when you start seeing it with people you know in the CFL and it just kind of gets closer and closer,” Korte said. “It’s a scary time. It’s wild to watch the news nowadays.”

E-mail: gmoddejonge@postmedia.com

On Twitter: @GerryModdejonge

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