Austria’s Thomas Schaffer has secured a squad spot with the Ottawa Redblacks of the Canadian Football League (CFL). As the team announced, the defensive tackle still features on the practice roster but is eligible to be called up to the 45-man game-day roster at any time. The 26-year-old Schaffer would have played for the Vienna Vikings in the European League of Football (ELF) as planned if he hadn’t had the chance in Canada at the beginning of May.
After the 2020 National Football League (NFL) draft, Schaffer briefly ended up with the Chicago Bears and in the summer of last year also completed a trial with the Indianapolis Colts – the team of his compatriot Bernhard Raimann. In autumn 2022, Schaffer played for the Raiders Tirol in the ELF.
Numerous athletes have already made the leap from the CFL to the NFL. It is considered the Canadian counterpart to the financially stronger US league. Unlike the NFL, which begins in the fall each year, its season begins in June and ends with the Gray Cup in late fall.