(Montreal) Tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, Khari Jones will not be on the sidelines at Percival-Molson Stadium when the Alouettes host the BC Lions on Saturday night. But the head coach, who will be replaced by André Bolduc, will still do a large part of his usual work in the days preceding.
Posted on September 14, 2021 at 9:11 a.m.
Updated at 5:50 p.m.
Jones was fully involved in shaping this week’s game plan and even got to watch his team’s training from a distance on Tuesday. Confined to his home for a minimum period of 10 days, Jones chatted with the other coaches on the team during training.
“After each period, I went for a walk to talk to him a little [sur le portable de Robert Gordon, l’entraîneur des receveurs] and he was very happy with the way it was going, ”said Bolduc.
Jones learned on Sunday night that the test he had taken the day before was positive. A news that surprised him enormously, since he was asymptomatic.
“It was a shock to learn that. Danny [Maciocia] called me to tell me that my test was positive and I was very surprised. I didn’t really have any symptoms. I was a little tired coming back from my stay outside, but it was nothing wrong. ”
During the Alouettes’ spring break (September 4-10), Jones spent a few days at the family home in British Columbia before visiting one of his daughters, who live in Toronto. He has no idea where or when he contracted the virus.
“I don’t know, but luckily my whole family is fine. I can’t speak for myself [sur la façon dont j’ai attrapé le virus] because I’m not sure. I haven’t been in contact with a lot of people, except when traveling. ”
Jones is feeling well and sees no complications, having received two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. The coach is also hopeful there won’t be an outbreak with the Alouettes, even though he led the team’s practice on Sunday before learning he had tested positive.
“There is always a risk, but our team members have been tested several times since and all tests have been negative. So I am optimistic that everyone will stay healthy and be ready. But that’s my biggest fear, I don’t want anyone else to contract the virus or the game to be compromised, and luckily it isn’t. ”
Not an audition for Bolduc
Assistant coach of Jones since he became the Alouettes driver in 2019, Bolduc led the Vert & Or at the University of Sherbrooke from 2007 to 2011. He therefore has experience as a head coach and knows well the Alouettes, since he has been part of their coaching group since 2014. He therefore feels ready to take up the challenge.
“Absolutely, I’ve always been ready for this. It’s my eighth season with the Alouettes, seventh because of COVID, so I’ve seen some, some football games and played a lot of them at one time. I know how it works and I know what kind of decisions a head coach has to make. ”
Bolduc is confident, but doesn’t see Saturday’s game as a form of audition for a future head coach job.
“It’s not that at all. At the start of the season, we knew it would take a plan if it happened. I don’t think Danny [Maciocia] will evaluate me based on the result of Saturday’s game if he ever has to find a new head coach in several years. ”
“I’ve been saying this for a long time, as long as Coach Jones is here, I want to be his assistant. If he ever had to leave for another team, I would be very tempted to follow him because he is an incredible man, ”commented Bolduc.
“He’s quite a football coach, but he’s also a whole person off the pitch, and that’s why the players are willing to break down walls for him. So I don’t see Saturday’s game as an audition. ”
Besides, Bolduc will lead the game against the Lions in much the same way Jones would.
“We’ve been working together on a daily basis for several years now, so I know what he wants and how he works. So I’m not going to change anything. ”
“I don’t think I’m going to take any big risks on Saturday. We have a solid game plan and it’s not André Bolduc who will win or lose the game. ”
Choice of remote games?
Jones said Bolduc and Michael Lionello, who is an offensive assistant coach, will split the work on picking offensive play against the Lions. Remember that Jones is also the team’s offensive coordinator and quarterback coach.
Since he attends team meetings as he normally does, Jones remains very involved in developing the game plan. What’s more, he could even choose the games from his home in Saturday’s game… “We’ll see if the league will allow it, but it’s not like I’m suspended,” he recalled.
But even if Jones were to decide on the offensive plays, Bolduc will be in charge of the team. “There is a reason why I chose André as my assistant. He’s a really good coach and he reads what’s going on in the team well, ”said Jones.