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Toronto Argonauts Taking Preseason Approach In The Season Finale

Thanks to the Toronto Argonauts clinching the East division against Hamilton on Friday. The Boatmen can now take a preseason approach to their final game of the regular season. The Double Blue have a quick turnaround in Week 16, playing on three days rest, Tuesday night at BMO Field as they host the Elks.

It’s a good thing that the Argos did beat the Ticats in Week 15. Otherwise, Toronto would have still been fighting for not only the East division title in Week 16, needing to beat Edmonton and hope for a Hamilton loss. But also, the Argonauts would have had to win to ensure a home playoff game because of the Alouettes head-to-head tie-breaker over them.

Despite the Elks having lost eight games in a row. Tuesday’s tilt with Edmonton would’ve been a challenging task for Toronto. But now that the potential crisis in the East has been averted. The Argos can use their well-earned good fortune to their advantage by resting their troops and giving the team extra time to have fresh legs for the East Final on December 5th. To the victor goes the spoils.

There are nearly three weeks between Toronto’s Week 16 game on November 16th to Sunday, December 5th. Technically nineteen days between the two games. For all intents and purposes, the Argos bye starts now. Especially for the Boatmen’s key players.

Toronto Argonauts Added Playoff Advantage

Entering Week 15, the Toronto Argonauts had 22 players on their injured list. Several notable names, like WR Eric Rogers, LB Dexter McCoil, OT Jamal Campbell, C Peter Nicastro, and RB John White.

There is an outside chance that some of these players will be ready by the East Final. Not to mention two prominent players who have yet to debut for Toronto in LB Nate Holley and WR Josh Huff. Reinforcements could be on the way for Double Blue in December.

Another benefit to the Argos much-needed layoff is that Ryan Dinwiddie and his staff also have the opportunity to get their current active players healthier.

Many of Toronto’s players have battled through injuries all season long, like offensive linemen Philip Blake and Dariusz Bladek. Many Argos players like Shawn Oakman and DaVaris Daniels have had to shoulder the load in a shortened season.

The Argonauts can hit the reset and refresh button on several of their veterans like Henoc Muamba. Maybe even Charleston Hughes can recharge his batteries for one last run in the playoffs before hanging up his cleats. Does Hughes have two more big games left in him? And who knows? Perhaps, the added rest can rejuvenate what has been a lackluster season for the future Hall of Famer.

Argonauts Week 16 Lineup

The Toronto Argonauts released their depth chart for Week 16 on Monday morning and as expected. Many starters will be sitting out Tuesday’s game.

Out against the Elks or dressing as backups for Toronto are QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson, RB DJ Foster, WR’s DaVaris Daniels, Chandler Worthy, DT Shawn Oakman, LB Henoc Muamba, and many others, who are dressed but in backup roles like SLB Chris Edwards.

The big story is that WR Eric Rogers dressing. He has been out for several weeks. It remains to be seen how much he will play, but he has come off the Boatmen’s six-game injured list.

  • Update- The Edmonton Elks have also released their depth chart for Tuesday’s game. Former Argo RB James Wilder is back in their starting lineup despite the recent success of Walter Fletcher. But former Boatmen pivot Nick Arbuckle will not be active against his former team. Taylor Cornelius gets the nod at QB.

Another benefit to the Argos resting their starters against Edmonton on Tuesday is that it allows the franchise to get an extended look at some of its young prospects. It also serves as a reward for players who have spent the entire season working hard on the practice roster.

Over the weekend, the Argos’ coaching staff already notified one practice roster player that he will be making his first CFL start this week. On Sunday night, Kicker Toshiki Sato took to social media to express his gratitude for the opportunity he will be receiving against Edmonton.

With potential Team MVP Boris Bede being as valuable as any member on the Boatmen. There’s no need to risk him getting injured before the playoffs. So the international standout specialist Toshiki Sato will be getting his chance to shine in the CFL spotlight at BMO Field.

<strong>Toronto Argonauts Global Kicker Toshiki Sato<strong>

The right course of action for the Boatmen against Edmonton is to make sure that they set sail for the playoffs with all hands on deck.

There is no reason for Toronto to jeopardize any of their key players getting injured before the East Final. Playing any prominent starters on short rest would be extremely foolish.

Sure, Toronto would love to finish their season undefeated at home during the regular season. And perhaps going into the playoffs with another victory would further help momentum. The Argonauts could also be seeking to finish the year with ten wins and a better point differential, currently, 302-305, which would come with a four-point victory against the Elks.

But in the grand scheme of things, the only thing that matters right now is the Argos being at their best when December 5th arrives.

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Mike Mitchell Reporter
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