Argos need to get Boyd more involved

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:35 AM ET

Upon further review, Cory Boyd was supposed to be handed the football more often during a Labour Day loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Ivor Wynne Stadium.

Boyd, the leading rusher in the Canadian Football League with 846 yards, also has a league-high 144 carries. But he rushed only 11 times against the Ticats, and didn't get a chance when the Argos were in the red zone until the third quarter, when he charged in from seven yards.

"We called runs down on the goal line, but there were things that Hamilton did that made (quarterback) Cleo (Lemon) pull the ball," Barker said. "There were maybe two of them that (Lemon) should have given to (Boyd), but the read was (not made).

"It's not like we weren't calling runs. (Boyd) touched the ball 18 times (including seven catches) and we would like him to have more than that, but a lot of times the defence dictates that and you have to be able to attack them in other areas."

The Argos actually were quite successful when it came to attacking the Ticats defence with the pass. Lemon had his best day in the CFL in the numbers game, but the three interceptions he tossed erased everything else.

Still, Lemon later told Barker that he hadn't felt as much in control in a previous game as he did in the Hammer.

"You take away three or four throws, and you have a good day," Lemon said. "And that is the frustrating part. You feel comfortable, and if you take three plays out of the game, and it's a different outlook. You feel good going into the next game, but knowing those critical mistakes cost you the win."

The Argos had a short practice on Tuesday afternoon at the University of Toronto's Erindale campus, taking into consideration there is not much turnaround before they are back on the gridiron. Up next is a date with the 2-7 B.C. Lions on Saturday at Empire Stadium in Vancouver.

Barker is dealing with injury issues on the offensive line, as Chris Van Zeyl, who could barely walk on Monday, is day to day with a back injury and Cedric Gagne-Marcoux has the same status after re-injuring his calf. Shannon Boatman likely will be back in, but that would upset the ratio cart, so another import would have to be dropped. Non-import Jonathan St-Pierre did more than enough against Hamilton to show that he probably can't be trusted to start. Rookie Joe Eppele simply isn't ready to start.

Then there is offensive lineman Joel Reinders, who failed to catch on with the Cleveland Browns after he was signed by the National Football League club in the spring. The Argos drafted Reinders in May, and not that he could have helped this weekend anyway, they want to get him under contract.

"He has an injury and we are not sure of the extent of that," Barker said. "We are investigating (the possibility of signing Reinders) and working on it. For our long term, he is a guy we think highly of."

And there is good news regarding the health of slotback Jeremaine Copeland, who suffered an elbow injury against Montreal on Aug. 14 and has not played since.

"Cope should be able to practice hopefully (Wednesday) or Thursday," Barker said. "He is way ahead of schedule and was not supposed to be cleared after Moncton (Sept. 26). But to think he is going to play this weekend would be a reach."

Defensive tackle Adriano Belli, who has missed five games with a foot problem, unlikely is to return in B.C.

Injuries aside, the Argos simply have to get Boyd more involved against David Braley's other CFL team this weekend.

"Hopefully I get the ball more," Boyd said. "If I am not rushing, you will see me doing my receiving thing. We have to put a full game together start to finish."


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