Rick Zamperin: With nothing to gain, CFL teams must balance competitiveness, health

After 20 weeks of blood, sweat and tears — quite literally — the Canadian Football League season will draw to a close this weekend on an immensely anti-climactic note.

All six playoff spots have been spoken for. Hamilton, Ottawa, Calgary, Saskatchewan, Winnipeg and B.C. are locked into those post-season positions.

This week, the final week of the CFL’s regular season, only one of the four contests have any meaning.

The last game of the season on Saturday, Nov. 3, Calgary at B.C., will determine whether the Stampeders or Roughriders win the West Division and gain a first round playoff bye.

The Stamps will grab first with a win or a tie. A loss, and the Roughriders — who have a bye this week — slip into the top spot.

The other games this week — Toronto at Ottawa, Winnipeg at Edmonton, and Montreal at Hamilton — hold no meaning in the playoff race as none of the teams can move up or down in the playoff race.

But for the Tiger-Cats, Redblacks and Blue Bombers, who are playoff-bound, while there’s nothing to play for there is something at stake: health.

I won’t blame any team for trying to win, even if it is a meaningless game. Like Herm Edwards once famously said, “You play to win the game.”

But this week in the CFL, the teams who stay healthy in advance of what they hope is a long playoff run will be the true winners.

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