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Only in the CFL: Alouettes accidentally release, then bring back, CB Michael Carter

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Michael Carter (26) is back with the Alouettes after an accidental release.

The CFL has long been known for its quirks, which have included everything from teams drafting dead players (twice!) to a relatively unsuccessful U.S. invasion to unusual rules and field setups to odd touchdown celebrations. However, the league may have added another one Sunday night. According to Montreal Gazette beat writer par excellence Herb Zurkowsky, the Alouettes have brought back Canadian cornerback (and Maryland product) Michael Carter. That normally wouldn't be such a big deal, but Zurkowsky tweeted Sunday night that Carter's release was accidental:

How do you accidentally release a player? Well, that's a rather good question, and no one outside the Alouettes' organization may ever know for sure. However, the most plausible explanation may be this growing out of a miscommunication between general manager Jim Popp and new Montreal head coach Dan Hawkins, and that wouldn't be all that surprising. After all, Hawkins is still adjusting to the CFL, where he's never coached before, and he's also likely readjusting to the coaching game after being out of it since 2010 (when he was fired mid-season by the University of Colorado), and Popp is likely adjusting to his new head coach after working with Marc Trestman (who decamped for the Chicago Bears in the offseason). It wouldn't be shocking to see the two of them value a player like Carter differently and perhaps have a communication breakdown over his roster status. However, it's also very possible that this was just an administrative error of some sort.

In the end, this likely isn't a big deal. The Alouettes were able to bring Carter back before someone else grabbed him, so no harm, no foul. It does make for a funny story, though, and an only-in-the-CFL moment. Still, it's always good when a moment like that doesn't affect your team on the field. The Alouettes may be a brief punchline over this, but they got the result they wanted in the end, and that's the most essential part of this story.

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