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Do Or Die Time For The Toronto Argonauts In The East Final

The Toronto Argonauts may have won the East division title for the second year in a row. But they can symbolically lose their claim to the Eastern crown by falling one step short of the Grey Cup in the East Final. A fate that Double Blue suffered a year ago at BMO Field.

Thanks to the Montreal Alouettes’ 28-17 conquest of Hamilton in the East Semi-Final. An Eastern Final rematch from 2021 has been averted. The Toronto Argonauts will not square off again with the Tiger-Cats at BMO Field in the East Final.

The next chapter in a future installment of the Battle of the QEW documentary series will have to be filmed at a later date.

Instead, the Boatmen have the Alouettes standing in their path of competing for the Grey Cup. A rival they haven’t met in this type of setting since 2012.

Ten years ago, Toronto beat Montreal in the East Final on their way to their 16th Grey Cup championship. Two years prior, the Als trumped the Argos in the final to advance and win a CFL championship.

As a matter of fact, the last time Montreal and Toronto won the Grey Cup, 2010 and 2017, respectively. They both had Marc Trestman as their head coach. The Argos haven’t won a playoff game ever since 2017. And the Alouettes haven’t tasted CFL glory for over a decade.

The Final 2022 Chapter Of The Argonauts And Alouettes

The Als and Argos met three times in the 2022 CFL regular season. The last time these two Eastern rivals clashed with something at stake was on Saturday, October 22nd, in Montreal. The Argonauts squeaked by the Alouettes 24-23 at the final gun to clinch the division crown.

The first time Montreal and Toronto took the field against each other in 2022 was the Argos’ home opener. A game where the Boatmen barely eked out a 20-19 victory, courtesy of a missed David Cote field goal in the final seconds.

The slimmest possible margins decided two Toronto victories over Montreal. When the smoke cleared on the regular season, the Argonauts won the East by two games over the Alouettes.

Depending on what sportsbook you lean on, the Argonauts are three-and-a-half-point favorites at home in the East Final. A standard line tilted slightly for a home team in the playoffs. But if there were a pressure meter on this game, it would fall heavily on the Argos’ shoulders.

It’s going to be high drama at BMO Field this Sunday afternoon, with the ultimate prize at stake.

The Montreal Alouettes making the Grey Cup, after all the upheaval that took place this season for them, would make for a heck of a story. The quarterback and head coach they started the season with were jettisoned away.

But the fall of the Argonauts’ for the second year in a row in the East Final at home would be the central storyline. Everything Toronto did in their post-2021 world was designed not to repeat what occurred last season. For better or worse, fair or unfair, if the Argos lose on Sunday. The success of the Boatmen’s 2022 season will be washed away.

Toronto’s 2021 ending could almost be excused because the Argos were considered a surprise team that overachieved beyond expectations, coming off two straight miserable seasons. But failing to take the next step in 2022 might send Double Blue into despair and back to the drawing board.

It’s do-or-die time for the Argonauts on Sunday. Toronto having their heart broken again by Hamilton on their home field would have been a miserable demise. But a loss to Montreal in the East Final will be a death nonetheless.

Argos-Alouettes Early East Final Practice/Injury Report

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TORONTO ARGONAUTSPRACTICE DAY 
Player NamePositionInjuryWEDTHUFRIGame Status
Brandon BanksWRHealthy ScratchFull
Dariusz BladekOLHealthy ScratchFull
Philip BlakeOLHealthy ScratchFull
Maurice CarnellDBKneeDNP
Declan CrossFBHealthy ScratchFull
Robertson DanielDBHamstringFull
Ja’Gared DavisDLHealthy ScratchFull
Chris EdwardsDBHealthy ScratchFull
Josh HagertyDBFootLimited
Andrew HarrisRBPectoralFull
Dewayne HendrixDLHealthy ScratchFull
Wynton McManisLBKneeLimited
Damontre MooreDLQuadDNP
Henoc MuambaLBHealthy ScratchFull
Peter NicastroOLKneeLimited
Shawn OakmanDLHealthy ScratchFull
Jamal PetersDBHealthy ScratchFull
Shane RichardsOLKneeFull
Eric RogersWRHamstringDNP
Tigie SankohDBBicepDNP
Robbie SmithDLHealthy ScratchFull
MONTREAL ALOUETTESPRACTICE DAY 
Player NamePositionInjuryWEDTHUFRIGame Status
Michael WakefieldDLHealthy ScratchFull
Ranthony TexadaDBHealthy ScratchFull
Cole SpiekerWRHealthy ScratchFull
Chris SchleugerOLLegFull
Mike JonesWRHealthy ScratchFull
Jabari EllisDLHealthy ScratchFull
Raheem WilsonDBKneeDNP
Reggie White Jr.WRKneeDNP
Zach LindleyDBHipFull
Sean JamiesonOLKneeDNP
Micah AweLBShoulderDNP
Thomas CostiganDLRibsDNP
Dominique DavisQBNot Injury RelatedDNP

The Argos officially began full practices today at Centennial Stadium. Their starters should have fresh legs after a bye and skipping the last week of the regular season.

The expected return of Andrew Harris in the Argonauts’ backfield could give Toronto’s ground game a boost. But it will be interesting to see how Toronto decides to deploy Harris and a red-hot AJ Ouellette in their backfield. Perhaps, the Argos can borrow a page from the Alouettes, who have found a way to keep Walter Fletcher in the mix with All-World RB William Stanback.

Montreal is fairly healthy coming into Sunday’s East Final. The Alouettes are hopeful of getting back C Sean Jamieson, DB Micah Awe, and WR Reggie White Jr. All three missed the semi-final game and were on the one-game injured list.

It’s the Boatmen who have a lot more unpredictability in their lineup this weekend.

Toronto could have a new configuration on their offensive line this weekend. With OT Isiah Cage back and Ryan Hunter seeing time recently at Centre. The potential inclusion of the two in the starting position chart could shake up the line considerably.

Defensively, LB Wynton McManis (knee-limited) looks like a long shot to be ready to return on Sunday. And the Argos’ defensive backfield, which has great depth, has uncertainty about who will get the call, specifically at CB. Chris Edwards hasn’t suited up for Double Blue in nearly a month. The former Safety/All-Star Sam backer has been playing at cornerback. If Edwards is healthy, will he play that position again?

Edwards is one of Double Blue’s most impactful players on defence. But he missed the last Montreal game. The word coming from the team was that it was a precautionary move made at the last minute. Due to wear and tear over a long season.

There are more question marks surrounding Toronto’s starting lineup than you would typically see for a Division champion prepping for a playoff game.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2022

ARGOS OPEN ADDITIONAL UPPER EAST SEATING FOR EASTERN FINAL AND ANNOUNCE ROY WOODS TO PERFORM AT HALFTIME

TORONTO – With the existing stadium ticketing manifest sold out for Sunday’s Eastern Final; the team announced today that seats in the upper east side of BMO Field will be released for sale beginning today. The team also announced today that Roy Woods, one of Toronto’s most popular R&B/Hip-Hop artists, will take the stage at halftime when the Boatmen take on the Montreal Alouettes, with a trip to the Grey Cup on the line and that the first 10,000 fans into BMO Field will receive a limited-edition Argos crew neck sweater upon entry. 

Woods, who was born in Brampton and played football growing up, signed to Drake’s record label, OVO Sound, in 2015 as a nineteen-year-old. The now 26-year-old has a number of hits, including “Drama” which was certified two times Platinum (according to Recording Industry Association of America), “Get You Good” and “Instinct,” both certified Gold (RIAA) as well as “Juliet & Romeo”, certified Silver (RIAA). His debut mixtape Waking At Dawn, peaked at number six on the U.S. R&B charts and 30 on the Billboard Canadian Albums chart, while his first studio album, Say, Less, reached as high as 11 on the U.S. R&B charts and 26 in Canada. The Argos fan, who can be found attending games at BMO Field during the summer months, has headlined two tours, Unlocked Tour and Say Less Tour, and has also been a part of two of Drake’s tours, Summer Sixteen Tour with Future and Aubrey and the Three Migos Tour with Migos. Woods has nearly 60 million combined views on his music videos on YouTube, and, to date, he has garnered more than two billion total global streams. His latest single is entitled “Bad Bad,” and all of Woods’ music can be found on all major streaming platforms.

The Double Blue will take on Montreal for the fourth time this season (Toronto holds a 2-1 edge in the season series) after the Alouettes beat the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Eastern Semi-Final last Sunday. This will be the first time Toronto and Montreal have squared off with a chance to go to the Grey Cup since 2012 when the Argos eventually won the Grey Cup with a victory over Calgary.

Get your tickets now! You won’t want to miss Roy Woods performing at halftime and your chance to get your hands on the Argos crew neck sweater. For tickets and information, please visit www.argonauts.ca

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