The Toronto Argonauts take the field Sunday without a key player, but the addition of some familiar faces to the roster may help fill the void.
As the Double Blue (5-5) prepare to host their eastern division rival, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (3-7) , they will have to make do without their best offensive player Cory Boyd.
The CFL’s rushing leader left in the third quarter of last week’s 37-16 loss to B.C. with a concussion, and will be kept out of the lineup for at least one contest to heal up.
Boyd’s 903 yards have been a large part of why Toronto has been able to produce some wins this season. The responsibility for filling his mighty shoes falls to some homegrown talent, Andre Durie and Jeff Johnson.
Fortunately for the Argos they may get some relief with the added help of two big performers from last season, Ricky Foley and Justin Medlock.
Foley was the Most Outstanding Canadian last year while playing for the Lions, leading the league in sacks.
After being released from the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks earlier this week, the Courtice, Ont. native at first reported his intentions to sign with his former west coast team, but instead opted to play closer to home.
Great news for an Argos team that has recorded the fewest sacks in the league.
Kicking could improve
Meanwhile, Medlock was brought on after he, too, was released from an attempt to crack an NFL lineup.
Named last year’s best special teams player for the Argos, Medlock will help solve the field goal issues that have plagued Toronto so far this season.
Kicker Grant Shaw has gone just 19-for-29, a far cry from Medlock’s 40-for-46 from last year.
As helpful as these additions will be for the Argos, they still have to find a way to prevent Winnipeg from building on its impressive win last week.
The Blue Bombers exploded against Saskatchewan on both sides of the ball, defeating the Riders 31-2.
Running back Fred Reid had his best game of the season with 148 yards and two touchdowns, while Steven Jyles threw an efficient 19-for-23 to help Bombers’ fans forget the loss, at least for the moment, of starting quarterback Buck Pierce.
Winnipeg’s dominance came as a surprise, especially as it entered the game in a three-way tie for last in the league.
Now sitting two games back from both Hamilton and Toronto, the Bombers are hoping last week’s performance will serve as a springboard to a strong finish, rather than just being a fluke of a game.
Before Winnipeg can make a run for the post-season, however, it will have to solve their struggles on the road. The Bombers have not won a game in six tries away from Canad Inns Stadium, dating back to last season.
Breaking that streak will be hard enough as it is without having to face a Toronto side that has gone 3-1 at home.