Dwayne Mandrusiak is back in football.

Mandrusiak joined the CFL Players' Association on Friday as an equipment safety adviser. He was let go in September by the Edmonton Football Team after 49 years as the franchise's equipment manager.

"I am excited to join the CFLPA to support the Association’s proactive approach to equipment safety and to advocate for safer equipment on behalf of players," Mandrusiak said in a statement. "The players are the most important part of the game and they deserve to be as safe as possible on game days."

The Edmonton Football Team's decision came the month after the CFL cancelled its plans for an abbreviated season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The league nixed the 2020 campaign after failing to secure a $30-million, interest-free loan from the federal government.

The CFLPA plans to use Mandrusiak's expertise and experience in its quest to improve equipment standards, which in turn will benefit health and safety.

“We are thrilled that Dwayne Mandrusiak is joining the CFLPA to lead our work in defining equipment standards across the league," said Brian Ramsay, the CFLPA's executive director. "Dwayne is a well-respected professional in his field and his experience and guidance will further contribute to the CFLPA’s commitment to player health and safety.

"His advice will help to ensure our members have access to the best and safest available equipment."

When Edmonton cut ties with Mandrusiak, the move drew criticism from fans and players. Mandrusiak, 64, was respected in CFL circles for the pride and detail he put into his job.

Earlier this month, Mandrusiak joined The Ranch Golf and Country Club in Edmonton as a course ambassador.

In his role with the CFLPA, Mandrusiak will help define equipment standards across teams for players. He'll also lead research and on the safest equipment that’s available to players and provide advice for identifying, maintaining and repairing equipment.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 23, 2021.