When Toronto Argonauts coaches put together the starting offence this Sunday for the game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, they will be forced to mix and match a little bit.
The Double Blue have a huge hole to fill with the loss of import running back Cory Boyd from this weekend’s roster.
Boyd was the Canadian Football League’s offensive player of the month for August, and also took the weekly honours after becoming the first Argo since 2001 to score three touchdowns in a game against Edmonton on Aug. 6.
He has mastered the Canadian running game in his rookie campaign, and currently leads the league in rushing with 903 yards on 5.8 yards per carry.
After taking a hard hit in the back of the helmet by the helmet of B.C. linebacker Solomon Elimimian early in the third quarter of Saturday’s game, Boyd sat out with a minor concussion.
The team is keeping the starting running back out of the lineup on Sunday due to protocol, because it is his third concussion of the season.
Head coach Jim Barker isn’t too concerned about the way that Boyd’s absence will affect his spot at game time though.
“We’re not worried about that position for us,” Barker told Canadian Press. “We lose Cory Boyd, but we had a week to prepare without him and we’ll be much better prepared for Sunday than we were when he went down last week.”
The loss of Boyd creates opportunities for several others to step up, and even makes room for some homegrown talent to start the game.
Andre Durie, a York University graduate and Mississauga, Ont. native, could get an opportunity to take the starting slot, and help bring the Argos to a victory after three straight losses.
Durie has carried the ball seven times this season for 50 yards, and in Toronto’s loss to B.C. he had 95 receiving yards, all of them coming in the first half.
Toronto-born Jeff Johnson and Hamiltonian Bryan Crawford, both CFL veterans, will also be getting longer looks prior to the choosing of Sunday’s lineup.
Import Anthony Aldridge was added to the roster on Thursday, because with Boyd out, the only import running back that remained was Mike Ford, who joined the Boatmen on Aug. 31.
Christian breaks hand
Ryan Christian, who has also spent time at the running back position this season, as well as on special teams, is out of the game for Sunday, too, and for at least eight more than that.
He was placed on the nine-game injured list with a broken hand on Thursday.
Toronto linebacker Tang Bacheyie saw his season come to an end after having surgery to repair a neck injury on Thursday that came from the game against the Lions.
Bacheyie was hurt in the second quarter of the B.C. game while making a special teams tackle.
Other recent roster moves also saw the Argonauts release defensive back Sammy Joseph, fullback Peter Quinney, and receiver Chad Lucas.
Lucas started this season after a great campaign for the Argos in 2009, which saw him catch 69 passes for 950 yards and two touchdowns in 14 games, as a midseason acquisition.
With all the signings and changes to the Toronto roster, Lucas ended up being the odd man out, and the team was without room for their most productive receiver from last season.