As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention.
After dropping nine of their last 10 games and with injuries starting to mount, it would be fitting if the Toronto Argonauts‘ coaching staff decided to try something different on Friday.
The tentative proposal for the game against the Edmonton Eskimos: Start third-string pivot Stephen Reaves ahead of the struggling Kerry Joseph.
If that happens, the opportunity would allow the 24-year-old southpaw to trade in the headset for a helmet and dress in his first CFL game.
“These next few days are going to be pretty important getting ready to go in case I’m needed,” Reaves told the Toronto Star on Wednesday.
Unlike most other clubs, the Boatmen (3-11) have dressed just two quarterbacks (Cody Pickett and Joseph) through the 2009 season.
The diverse skill set of Reggie McNeal allowed the Argos to take a chance and play McNeal as a receiver while also counting on him to step in at quarterback if need be.
With McNeal hurt however, and Pickett still recovering from an oblique injury, Toronto’s head coach Bart Andrus has yet another quarterback decision to make this season.
Andrus said he liked Reaves’ accuracy and quick release when he watched him at the free-agent camp in Florida earlier in the year.
After practice on Wednesday, the coach added “He’s still pretty sharp.”
Joseph himself was confident in his backup’s ability.
“All through the season he’s prepared like he was going to play even though he hasn’t dressed,” he said.
Despite spending the year on the Argos’ practice roster, Reaves is a true student of the game.
Last year, the Tampa Bay, Florida, native relocated to Oakland to serve as a coaching intern with the Raiders of the NFL.
This season, Reaves has been close by Andrus’ side, sending in signs from the sidelines to both Pickett and the veteran Joseph.
Back in June in limited pre-season action, Reaves generated 83 yards and completed 60 per cent of his passes in the third quarter of the club’s first exhibition contest versus the Montreal Alouettes.
NOTES: As poorly as the Argonauts have played thus far, the team has performed rather well in recent meetings with Edmonton (6-8), winning five of its last six … Toronto is now close to tying the all-time regular-season series with the Eskimos (37-38-1) … The Argos will be the home team for a regular-season game that will be played in Moncton, New Brunswick next season at the local university’s new track stadium. This will mark the first time the CFL has ever played a regular season game in the Maritimes.