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Toronto Argonauts Season Could Potentially Take A Turn For The Worse

The Toronto Argonauts are in a contentious position heading into back-to-back games with arch nemesis the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, starting with this Saturday’s game at BMO Field. The Argos have lost their last two games at home. And if not for a David Cote missed field goal in their opener, the team would be winless in the Six.

A lot has been made about the fact that the Argonauts have a decided advantage of not having to leave Ontario until October. But coming off of a demoralizing defeat to previously winless Ottawa at home. That perceived benefit has holes in it. Enough to sink the Boatmen’s ship if the trend of losing at BMO continues.

Toronto Argonauts Season Could Potentially Take A Turn For The Worse

At the moment, the Argos lead the East at 3-3, and although a loss to 2-5, Hamilton at BMO Saturday wouldn’t knock them out of first place immediately. It could be the precursor to Double Blue’s downfall. Especially with Toronto heading to the Hammer next week. 3-3 can be 3-5 real fast. As a result, in that realistic scenario, a 4-5 Ti-Cats team would be vaulting ahead of their hated rivals.

The Ti-Cats would love nothing more than, in one fell swoop, to sweep the Argos in their first two head-to-head meetings. And then, by doing so, giving new life to what has been an underwhelming 2022 season for them by psychologically damaging Double Blue’s lofty aspirations.

Hamilton already has the psychological advantage over Toronto, based on what the Ti-Cats did to Toronto on the Argos’ home field in the East Final. Stop me if you haven’t read this script in the last two seasons. The Argonauts dominated the Tiger-Cats in the first half of the Final in December, only to fall apart at the seams as the game progressed and succumb to a superhuman-led Dane Evans.

Things got ugly for both teams after the smoke subsided from the East Final. But the outcome and aftermath were worse for the Argos. The good vibes generated by Toronto’s return to prominence in 2021 suffered severe damage on that fateful day.

The Toronto Argonauts will face the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in four of the next five weeks. The Boatmen can’t afford to lose round one on Saturday. Doubt has already started to creep in on Toronto from outsiders because of the team’s Jekyll and Hyde tendencies from week to week. Not exorcising the demons from Last December, and losing to Hamilton again at home, will raise doubt internally for the Argos.

Many people are prematurely calling for changes to Toronto, specifically at head coach and quarterback. One can only imagine how credible those criticisms will appear if Toronto’s season turns for the worse. Losing to Hamilton will see the volume of discontent amplified.

Week 9 Injury/Practice Report

Player NamePositionInjuryTUEWEDTHUGame Status
Simoni LawrenceLBGroinFullFullFull –
Anthony JohnsonWRHandDNPDNPDNPOut
Kyle SaxelidOLAnkleFullFullLimitedDoubtful
Lee AutryDLShoulderDNPDNPDNPOut
Wes HillsRBHealthy ScratchFullFullFull –
Tre CrawfordDLHamstring/IllnessDNPDNPDNPOut
Lawrence WoodsDBKneeLimitedDNPLimitedQuestionable
Bralon AddisonWRIllnessDNPFullFull –
Tyler TernowskiWRShoulderDNPDNPDNPOut
Curtis NewtonLBKneeDNPDNPDNPOut
Des LawrenceDBHealthy ScratchFullFullFull –
Felix Garand-GauthierFBIllnessDNPDNPDNPQuestionable
Player NamePositionInjuryTUEWEDTHUGame Status
Dejon AllenOLBackDNPDNPQuestionable
Philip BlakeOLHandDNPFullQuestionable
Juwan BrescacinWRGroinFullLimitedQuestionable
Dejon BrissettWRHamstringLimitedLimitedQuestionable
Jack CassarLBHamstringFullFullQuestionable
DaVaris DanielsWRHeadFullFullQuestionable
Dylan GiffenOLHeadFullFullOut
Josh HagertyDBHamstringDNPDNPQuestionable
Deionte KnightDLKneeLimitedFullQuestionable
Justin LawrenceOLShoulderLimitedLimitedQuestionable
Wynton McManisLBNeckLimitedFullQuestionable
Peter NicastroOLKneeDNPDNPOut
Cam PhillipsWRWristLimitedFullQuestionable
Shane RayDLQuadLimitedFullQuestionable
Shaquille RichardsonDBShoulderDNPFullQuestionable
Eric RogersWRQuadFullFullQuestionable
Eric SuttonDBHipDNPDNPQuestionable

Both the Argos and Ti-Cats are hoping to get some key figures back into their lineups for the first battle of the QEW in 2022.

One of the CFL’s best defensive players and most hated by opposing fan bases, LB Simoni Lawrence is poised to come off Hamilton’s injured list after practicing for the last three days. Hamilton’s defense, which has always been the strength of their team, has missed the presence of their emotional and physical leader. It’s fitting that Lawrence is returning against Toronto.

Toronto WRs Juwan Brescasin and Eric Rogers are inching closer to returning. Both players are practicing this week. They have yet to play in 2022 and are eligible to come off the team’s six-game injured list. Either player would significantly boost Double Blue’s red zone woes and run game because of their physicality and size. DaVaris Daniels, who missed last week’s Ottawa game due to a head injury, looks like he could be back in the Boatmen’s lineup as well.

The Argonauts’ issues on the offensive line continue. The Double Blue are a banged-up bunch up front. Toronto is already missing left tackles Isiah Cage and Trevon Tate, and right tackle Dejon Allen is dealing with a back injury. Last week’s fill-in at left tackle, guard/centre Philip Blake is among the walking wounded with a hand injury.

And on top of that, starting C Justin Lawrence is nursing a shoulder injury. A Peter Nicastro return is nowhere near in sight, and his recovery from surgery has him still on the shelf for the foreseeable future. So the Argos can’t afford to have Lawrence and Blake out of action.

The Argonauts’ injury report is quite lengthy heading into Saturday. Hamilton has quite a few key contributors, also nursing wounds. But as is always the case between these two teams regarding their head-to-head matchups. Anyone who can play will.

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Mike Mitchell Reporter
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