Argos dealing with missing players as season opener draws nearer
The Argos’ first game of the new season doesn’t arrive until next Saturday when Hamilton comes to town.
On Wednesday, the Argos gathered for their first practice at Lamport Stadium.
Unlike last year, the venue had lines on the field and a makeshift goalpost team employees had to roll on to the field when field goals were attempted.
The goalposts aren’t exactly up to CFL standards, in fact the one used in practice was roughly half the width of a normal goalpost, but anything is viewed as improvement when the club basically had nothing to work with last year.
At BMO Field, meanwhile, a work crew was putting the finishing touches on the new-look end zone, a house of horrors for many players because the area was made up of artificial turf and not the natural grass that adorns the surface between the actual field of play.
BMO has a new hybrid surface.
Practice-wise, a few of the team’s incumbents weren’t available.
Head coach Corey Chamblin said James Wilder Jr. will be back after Wilder left Toronto to tend to a family issue, while offensive lineman Ryan Bomben and running back/special teams player Mercer Timmis are being held out “for a while” as they tend to a medical issue.
Read between the lines and it’s looking as though both Bomben, an all-star at his guard position, and Timmis, a free-agent acquisition who left the Hammer, won’t be available when the Ticats help usher in the Argos’ 2019 season.
Among the best news to surface with the Argos is the return of Chris Schultz to the radio booth, one of the true football giants, figuratively and literally. Schultz joins play-by-play man Mike Hogan as the tandem gets reunited for its second straight season of calling home games and away games in Hamilton. There is no better radio team than the Hogan-Schultz combo, no more knowledgeable and respected football voices than the two pros…Catherine Raiche, the team’s director of football administration for the team since January 2018, has officially left three-down football for the XFL Tampa. She joins another Argos front-office staff member in Justin Hickman.