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Toronto Argonauts Gearing Up For Labour Day Showdown With Hamilton

The Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger-Cats are three days away from playing each other in the 50th chapter of the Labour Day Classic. A tradition between the two long-time rivals that dates back to 1950. Hamilton has won the last six meetings against Toronto. The last time that the Argos beat the Ti-Cats in the LD Classic was in 2012.

Despite the Argonauts’ promising 2-1 start. Only one game separates them from the Tiger-Cats (1-2) in the standings. Monday afternoon’s showdown is a statement game for both teams. After two straight 4-win seasons, the new-look Boatmen are trying to sail their way back to relevancy. And they can do that by beating Eastern favorites, Hamilton at Tim Horton’s Field.

But some question marks are surrounding the Argos heading into this game. And one of them is, Has the team’s momentum from their exhilarating home victory in Week 3 been stymied because of the delay caused by Edmonton?. As the Argos journey towards their next game, they have encountered issues of their own, dealing with COVID protocol and their practice field, which prompted them to practice at Centennial Park on Thursday rather than Lamport Stadium.

Toronto Argonauts COVID Protocols/Player Availability

Offensive Linemen Dariusz Bladek, Philip Blake, and WR Ricky Collins have all missed practice this week. Due to COVID protocols. The Argos released an injury report yesterday with the notation. Sources close to the team indicate that the players in question are healthy and could be good to go for Monday’s game.

However, neither of the three players practiced on Friday. The Argonauts still have two remaining practices at Lamport Stadium before Monday’s contest with Hamilton. Blake, Bladek, and Collins still have to complete the protocol process before they can return. No further details are available about the three starters at this time. Other than what has already been shared by the team.

Blake and Bladek have been two of the team’s best players in the early season. And in their stead in practice has been Shane Richards and Dylan Giffen. Toronto’s run game has been one of the best aspects of the team in the early season. So getting Blake and Bladek back in the trenches is vital towards the team’s success in Week 5 and beyond.

The absence of starting WR Ricky Collins in practice has increased the reps for rookie Dejon Brissett, who is coming off of his best outing as a pro, with two catches for 51 yards against Winnipeg. With Collins off the practice field. Practice roster WR Cam Phillips is still working with the scout team mostly. Toronto resigned Chandler Worthy earlier this week to give the Argos added reinforcements.

Additional Argos Practice News And Notes

  • WR Devaris Daniels is still working his way back from a head injury he suffered against Winnipeg in week 3. Daniels has been doing light work all week in practice. Ryan Dinwiddie told CFLNewshub today, that the team and its medical staff are being very cautious in their approach with Daniels. The Argos do not want to jeaopardize his health moving forward. There are still two days of practice left. Daniels was limited today in practice. The key for him playing will be getting medical clearance.
  • Starting RT Jamal Campbell, who is one of the few remaining Argos, who has experience playing in the Labour Day Classic against Hamilton, was limited on Thursday with a foot injury. Campbell looked better on Friday and is trending towards playing Monday’s game.
  • The Argonauts have had to deal with some field issues this week during practice. On Thursday, the team moved its practice to Centennial Park because of turf issue at Lamport. Toronto was back today at Lamport, with field crews working on resolving the matter. The Argos staff didn’t want to jeopardize their players, so that’s why the move was made on Thursday.
  • Despite their 1-2 record, Argonauts head coach Ryan Dinwiddie told the media today that he has been very impressed with Hamilton’s defense on film. Dinwiddie raved about the Ti-Cats performance thus far this season on the defensive side of the ball.
  • In preparation for one of the league’s most electryifing players. Chandler Worthy has been simulating Brandon ‘Speedy’ Banks on the Argos scout team. Banks is off to a slow start this year with only 15 receptions for 112 yards, and zero touchdowns in three contests. But Banks is long overdue for a beark out game. And it could come this Monday. Banks in his last two meetings against the Boatmen in 2019, registered 21 receptions for 214 yards. The Argos are sporting a new secondary in 2021, but Banks is the same dangerous threat that he has always been.
  • Look for the Argonauts to continue using a two-halfback set in their offensive formations. Both John White and DJ Foster are dual threats who can provide issues for opposing defenses out in space catching the football. The Argos went with a two-back look with White and Foster in week three. Often, using each player in motion to create matchups in the secondary and in alignment. With Juwan Brescasin still out, and uncertainty surrounding Daniels and Collins, with limited work weeks. Don’t be surprised to see DJ Foster get an opportunity to show off the receiving chops he displayed as one of the best dual threat backs in the nation at Arizona State.

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Mike Mitchell Reporter
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