For the majority of players in the CFL they haven’t played since November of 2019. The CFL has been on pause since the 2019 Grey Cup due to the COVID-19 Pandemic however wide receiver Jordan Smallwood who was just recently signed by the Ottawa Redblacks played football in March of 2020 in the XFL alongside some other CFL players before the XFL was forced to fold. Smallwood said, “It was hard to just stop playing football.” when talking about the closures in 2020, “I had to stop doing a lot of things at one point because of the pandemic but I’ve been training still, working to get back in an opportunity and now I’ve got one.”
Smallwood had signed with the CFL’s Ottawa Redblacks last weekend with the 2021 CFL training camp just days away. The opportunity brings Smallwood to Canada for the second time after he spent time with the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2018. He has also spent time with the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs and XFL’s Los Angeles Wildcats since leaving the University of Oklahoma as an undrafted free agent in 2018. As an Oklahoma Sooner he caught 18 passes for 170 yards and one touchdown in 47 games while running in two touchdowns on four attempts for 16 total yards. In the 2018 NFL pre-season with the Chiefs he caught two passes for 32 yards and in his XFL stint in 2020 he was featured as the Wildcats’ number one receiver, catching 18 passes for 236 yards and one touchdown. Over just the last two games of the XFL season prior to the league folding Smallwood caught 11 passes for 161 yards.
Coming to Ottawa, Jordan Smallwood will be given a fair chance to make the final roster come August 7th when the team opens the season on the west-coast against the Edmonton Elks. He will be battling for a spot alongside other newcomers Kendrick Rogers, Amba Etta-Tawo, Joe Walker, Ryan Davis and Ervin Phillips as well as some returning CFL receivers like Shannon Smith, Wesley Lewis, Guillermo Villalobos, Michael Klukas and Nate Behar but he doesn’t mind competition. “Training camp is a great way to prove yourself.” he said, “There are a lot of great players coming to camp, we’ve been on some meetings together and I have a lot of respect for my teammates but I look forward to making the most of this opportunity.”
At 26 years old Smallwood still has dreams of being a playmaker in the NFL, however with the chance to play in the nation’s capital in Canada he has set a goal for himself to achieve in Ottawa. “I want to do anything I can to help my team. I have done that at every single level I have played at and I will be helping Ottawa win their next Grey Cup. I’m going to bring energy, passion and a lot of support to the locker room. I play like a professional and I am very excited to be doing it in Ottawa in front of their supportive fans.”
Jordan Smallwood will be joining the Ottawa Redblacks and the CFL on July 10th as they open their 2021 CFL training camp. This will be the first football in Canada since November 24th 2019 when the Winnipeg Blue Bombers won the 107th Grey Cup over the Hamilton Tiger Cats. He will be more than ready for the opportunity after his long off-season spent training in Dallas, Texas with a number of different coaches including Craig LeBlanc who has also been at sessions with Redblacks receiver Jerminic Smith.