The Toronto Argonauts have released their depth chart for Thursday night’s preseason finale against the Ottawa Redblacks at Guelph University. Chad Kelly, who missed last weekend’s opener, is penciled in as the Argos’ starter at quarterback.
TORONTO ARGONAUTS DEPTH CHART – THURSDAY, JUNE 1, 2023, VS. THE OTTAWA REDBLACKS
The Toronto Argonauts’ inactive list for Thursday’s game includes WR Kurleigh Gittens (left shoulder), DB Robert Priester (right ankle), DB Robertson Daniel, LB Wynton McManis, OL Dariusz Bladek, LT Isiah Cage, OT Trevon Tate, DB Josh Haggerty, DL Damontre Moore, LB Jack Cassar, DB Maurice Carnell, and DB Eric Sutton.
Argonauts Preseason Finale Storylines To Watch
Once Thursday night’s game is completed, the Argos will have 17 days before their regular season-opening game at BMO Field against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
However, Toronto will have to make some tough decisions in the coming days as training camp ends on the 3rd of June. Final roster cuts can take place as early as Friday morning.
It remains to be seen on Thursday night whether or not; Chad Kelly gets the two series he was slated to play last weekend. The expectation is that he will. Toronto’s medical staff has given him a clean bill of health after tightness in his throwing elbow prevented Kelly from playing against Hamilton. Kelly has been fully practicing this week.
The battle for the role of Chad Kelly’s backup is wide open. Bryan Scott appears to be the new leader in the Argos clubhouse after last weekend. But Ben Holmes, who is listed as Kelly’s backup against Ottawa, will have a chance at redemption after a rough outing. Cameron Dukes, who turned a lot of heads with his unique play style, will have a chance to follow up on his promising performance against the Ti-Cats.
At running back, Andrew Harris and A.J. Ouellette are listed on the depth chart. But it’s ceremonial in nature because Thursday’s game is more about the battle for a backup role between Americans Javon Leake and Deonta McMahon. Despite a strong showing by the latter last Saturday, landing an active spot will be challenging.
At WR, with Kurleigh Gittens Jr. sitting out for precautionary measures. Projected week one starter Cam Phillips rejoins the lineup. The main area of intrigue, though, pertains to a wide-open battle for the fifth starting receiver position and depth roles.
WR Damonte Coxie returns after sitting out game one of the preseason. In his absence, American newcomers B.J. Byrd and Rajae Johnson stepped up greatly last week to make their case to make the team. Coxie and Jeremiah Haydel appeared to be sure things this season after showing glimpses of potential in 2022. But the numbers game and pro football can be very cruel sometimes.
Once again, Shane Richards is captaining the left tackle position for the Boatmen. One has to wonder, with Trevon Tate and Isiah Cage out of the lineup and unhealthy. If the team will ride with Richards when the season starts or likely slide Ryan Hunter out to left tackle.
Dariusz Bladek is sitting out this game but is a guaranteed game-one starter. The question is, does Toronto decide to start Peter Nicastro, Darius Ciraco, or Gregor MacKellar alongside him in the interior? It’s a strong possibility. Thursday’s game is giving a lot of the Argos’ swing options on the offensive line an extended audition.
Defensively, Toronto is without Robert Priester at the boundary cornerback spot. CFL rookie and FCF star Qwantez Stiggers, who had an interception last week, is getting the starting nod on Thursday. On the opposite side, Tarvarus McFadden is listed as a game-time decision. It’s likely he sits this out as a precautionary measure. After all, Toronto can’t afford to lose another defensive back to injury. Keith Washington III should see extended time and has a legit shot to make a strong bid for a roster spot.
The Argonauts have the majority of its main players in their front seven listed in Thursday’s starting lineup. Shawn Oakman is back in uniform. But you have to wonder how quickly the hook will arrive for players of his ilk.
Thursday night represents the calm before the storm. The outcome has very little merit. However, the Argos would love to put out a better performance than they did in their preseason opener.
The Ottawa REDBLACKS are treating the preseason finale a bit differently. The majority of their starters are not dressing.
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