CFLNewshub has learned that Argos’ leading pass rusher DE Shane Ray is done for the season. The former first-round NFL draft pick tore his left bicep this past weekend in Calgary. And will require surgery. In his second year in the CFL, Ray was leading Toronto in sacks with six before going down to injury.
It’s a crushing blow for the Boatmen’s defensive unit, who also lost CFL leading tackler LB Wynton McManis to an MCL injury in Week 17. McManis will go on Toronto’s six-game injured list. But he could return after four weeks, depending on his recovery. Perhaps returning for the Argos in the playoffs. But that scenario is not guaranteed.
The Argos will be without two of their best defensive players as they enter a pivotal stretch of their season. Toronto has made several acquisitions in the last few weeks at the defensive line position. Signing the likes of Ali Fayad, Brandon Browner, Jared Brinkman, and NFL veteran Damontre Moore. Expect Robbie Smith to assume a starting role opposite JaGared Davis. The third-year CFL product out of Canada has two sacks on the season. And could give Toronto flexibility as it pertains to the ratio.
Canadian LB Trevor Hoyte will likely replace McManis at the weakside linebacker spot. Another promising National player who has big shoes to fill and Hoyte will be relied upon to aid the Argos’ defence in their final four regular season games. However, Trevor Hoyte began the work week not practicing due to a shoulder injury. So the Argos might have to scramble and insert Hoyte’s college teammate Jack Cassar into the defensive lineup. To make matters worse, reserve linebacker Brandon Calver also missed practice on Tuesday with a hamstring ailment.
Adversity Hits The Argos As Team Approaches Pivotal Stretch
What a difference a week makes for the Argos. Last week at this time, Toronto was riding high on a four-game win streak, clinching a playoff spot, and looking like good bets to win the Eastern division for the second year in a row.
But a sobering loss to the Stampeders in Week 17, combined with critical losses due to injuries, and an improbable Montreal victory late in Edmonton, has created a cloud of uncertainty as the Argonauts set sail towards the final stretch of their season.
State Of The Argos
The Argos are sailing into Thanksgiving weekend in Canada with a lot to be thankful for. They are headed to the playoffs for the second straight season. And will host a playoff game again. The question is will it be the East Final or a semifinal home playoff date?
A week ago, a probable doomsday scenario for Double Blue was presented in this column. With them not only losing their grip on the East. But the potential of hosting cross-over Saskatchewan or maybe even, brace for impact, Hamilton in the first round of the playoffs.
The latter scenario is a plausible one. Hamilton (4-10) is two games behind the 6-9 Riders for a playoff spot. And the Ti-Cats, coming off their bye week, play slumping Saskatchewan at home this Friday night. A Riders loss could put any playoff hopes for them in serious doubt. Sask finishes their season with two games against Calgary. A 6-12 finish is not out of the cards for them if they falter to the Cats. Hamilton will play Calgary as well. However, they close their season with dual games against Ottawa.
No matter what their struggles have been this year. Hamilton is still a threat to Toronto. And the Argos losing to the Tiger-Cats for the second year in a row at BMO Field in the playoffs would be demoralizing.
Right now, the Boatmen’s focus is getting their ship righted after Week 17’s loss simply because they have another Eastern rival, Montreal, hot on their tails.
After starting the season at 2-6, the Alouettes are 5-1 in their last six games. Montreal has pulled within one game behind Toronto in The East. The Als have won three straight games. And as long as they are within two games of Toronto by Week 20. They will have a shot to win the East if they can sweep the Argos to end the regular season.
But the way things are shaking out, it’s possible that Montreal could be tied or leading the East when they battle with the Boatmen at season’s end. A tie scenario could come as soon as Thanksgiving. A Toronto loss to BC this Saturday, coupled with an Alouettes home victory over Ottawa Monday night, would leave both teams’ jammed at the top of the East before Week 19 arrives.
Although, Toronto currently has the tie-breaker edge over Montreal, based on their head-to-head victory in Week 2. The Als can still win the season series over the Argos.
The Boatmen can’t afford to be swept by their next two Western opponents. The Leos at BMO Field, and then the Elks in Edmonton. They have to get to the final two games with some margin for error. A split with Montreal could net the Argonauts the East. But the Argos would like to avoid having to beat Montreal twice in successive weeks. It’s a potential scenario that could unfold if Toronto falls a game behind the Als before Week 20 arrives. Arguably, the CFL’s best running back, William Stanback, could return for Montreal. He has been warming up in the bullpen, returning to practice, and could be a secret weapon in Montreal securing the East.
ARGOS INK AMERICAN WR TRAVELL HARRIS
The Argos announced the signing of Washington State WR/KR Travell Harris. The pro rookie spent the spring and summer with the Cleveland Browns. CFL teams’ practice rosters have expanded by five for the tail end of the regular season. The Argonauts have been busy reshuffling their deck in recent days.
Toronto is looking for any options they can find at kick returner. The Argos are last in the CFL in kick and punt return average. Last week, the team released one of their candidates for that department, WR Isiah Wright.
Harris, 5’9 and 185lbs, spent time with the Cleveland Browns this year after being signed by the NFL team in May. The Tampa, Florida native attended Washington State from 2017-2021, where he played 43 games and caught 179 passes for 1,999 yards and 17 touchdowns. Harris returned kickoffs every year of his career at WSU and punts during his senior year, eventually setting the school record for kickoff return yards, and was named three-time All-Pac 12.
Toronto Argonauts Practice Week Begins For BC Rematch
The Argos have a tall task facing a Leos team that dusted them 44-3 early this season. Nathan Rourke or not. Toronto was held to three points in Vancouver against the Lions’ underrated and overlooked defence. The Boatmen are back at BMO, which could help their chances this Saturday. But BC is similar to Calgary because they are a legitimate championship contender. Toronto, which is dealing with a lot of adversity, will be tested.
The Argonauts had their first of three straight practices this week at Lamport Stadium Tuesday. Ryan Dinwiddie and his offence have a lot of work to do rebounding from their worst effort of the season. The Double Blue were left scoreless against the Stamps in Week 17. And BC will certainly try to implement the blueprint Brent Munson and Calgary’s D used against the Boatmen.
Facing former nemesis Vernon Adams provides a unique wrinkle as well. The former Alouette can help assist his former team by beating the Argos this Saturday.
ARGONAUTS INJURY REPORT WEEK 18, DAY 1 – TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2022
TORONTO – Find Toronto’s injury report for Week 18, Day 1.
|TORONTO ARGONAUTS||Practice Day|
|Juwan Brescacin||WR||Healthy Scratch||FULL|
|Theren Churchill||OL||Healthy Scratch||FULL|
|Deionte Knight||DL||Healthy Scratch||FULL|
Argos Football Club Turns 149 Years Old
The Toronto Argonauts, Founded on October 4th, 1873, as part of the Argonaut Rowing Club, celebrates its 149th birthday today. The Argonauts have always claimed to be North America’s oldest professional football team. Fittingly, the team’s biggest rival, Hamilton, disputes that claim, and the Cats trace their lineage back to 1869.
No matter, the Duble Blue have won 17 Grey Cup championships, the most of any team in the history of Canadian football. The Argonauts have appeared in 23 Grey Cup games, losing only six. (Two other Toronto teams have also won the Grey Cup — the University of Toronto Varsity Blues and Toronto Balmy Beach Beachers — for a combined 24 championships for the city.)
The victors have always written history—no matter who lays the claim or when the true origin began. There’s no denying the great history attached to the Argonauts football club.