Saskatchewan Roughriders defensive lineman Marino apologizes for hit on Ottawa QB Masoli

Defensive lineman Garrett Marino and the Saskatchewan Roughriders both apologized Wednesday for Marino’s low hit on Ottawa Redblacks quarterback Jeremiah Masoli last week, with Marino adding he won’t appeal the four-game suspension he received for the controversial incident.

Marino was ejected in the fourth quarter of Saskatchewan’s 28-13 home win Friday night after diving into Masoli’s legs as he threw a pass. With Masoli on the ground, Marino flexed his muscles and gestured to the Mosaic Stadium crowd in celebration as he left the field following the hit.

That prompted some Redblacks players to go to Saskatchewan’s sideline to confront Marino. Even after being ejected, Marino lifted his helmet to the crowd and pounded his chest as he headed to the locker room.

Masoli was carted off the field and will require surgery. He’s expected to be out 10 to 12 weeks.

Marino, in his second season with Saskatchewan, has a previous ejection and two fines in 12 career CFL games.

On Monday, the CFL slapped Marino with three different suspensions totalling four games, the longest in CFL history for on-field behaviour. Marino was banned two games for the hit on Masoli, another for a verbal comment about the quarterback’s heritage and one game for an illegal tackle on a previous play in the game.

“I want to apologize for my actions that day, as I understand that they have no place in the game of football,” Marino said in a statement issued on Twitter by the Roughriders. “I also apologize to Jeremiah Masoli of the Ottawa Redblacks, as I did not intend to injure him.

“I have tried over the past few days to connect with him directly and will continue to do so.”

The Riders released both statements before their arrival here Wednesday night. Saskatchewan will face the Toronto Argonauts in the CFL’s 2022 Touchdown Atlantic contest Saturday afternoon at Wolfville, N.S.

Marino added he wouldn’t appeal the suspension and has instructed the CFL Players’ Association to respect his wishes.

On Tuesday, Masoli took to social media to speak about the hit. The veteran quarterback was very critical about Marino’s suspension for his comments about Masoli’s heritage.