There was a point in the season when receiver R. Jay Soward thought he'd never get back into the Argos lineup. Now he's hoping he's in it to stay for a long time.
Soward played in the last three regular-season games for the Argos taking the import roster spot of tailback John Avery, who injured a hamstring.
Because the team decided to keep Avery out of tomorrow's East Division final game against Montreal, Soward is staying in the lineup and feels he has something to prove. He began the season as the starting shortside slotback, but gradually lost his job.
"It's the biggest time of the year. To come up big in a game like this would be probably life changing," Soward said yesterday. "I could earn more money. I could get another contract. I could secure a home in Toronto.
"My contract's not up, but I want more money. I want to make things better for me and for my family. I want to buy a house, start living my life down here and really know that I'm going to be here in Toronto."
KEY ROSTER MOVES
The Argos will add seven players to the lineup who sat out the last game to rest injuries: slotback Arland Bruce, offensive lineman Jude St. John, cornerback Adrion Smith, defensive back Kenny Wheaton, defensive linemen Eric England and Noah Cantor and linebacker Ray Mariuz. The seven scratches are mainly practice roster players and backups.
Argos head coach Pinball Clemons said the battle with the Als in the playoffs is starting a new rivalry for Toronto. This will be the fourth consecutive year the two teams meet in the Eastern final. Montreal won the first two years, the Argos last year.
"These two teams have a healthy respect for one another, but I don't think it's always been a two-way street necessarily," Clemons said. "I think it has been a game in which Montreal has enjoyed competing in, but now there's maybe a healthier respect between the two."