Allen still No. 1: Pinball

Damon Allen wears a leg brace yesterday as he practices for the first time since suffering a...

Damon Allen wears a leg brace yesterday as he practices for the first time since suffering a cracked left tibia in a game against the Montreal Alouettes on Aug. 12. (Toronto Sun/Craig Robertson)

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:06 AM ET

While the B.C. Lions have a quarterback controversy on their hands, the Argos apparently don't.

That was the indication yesterday from Toronto coach Pinball Clemons, who said the situation with Damon Allen returning to practice isn't to be confused with what has happened in B.C., where sophomore backup Casey Printers has taken the starter's job from veteran Dave Dickenson.

Printers has started the past 11 games in place of Dickenson, who convalesced from a knee injury, and has put up the top quarterback stats in the league. Dickenson returned to the Lions lineup in the past game.

With a horde of media on hand to document the return of Allen from a leg injury that had sidelined him for almost two months, Clemons was asked about Michael Bishop's grip on the starting quarterback job heading into Monday's game at the SkyDome against the Lions.

"I don't think there's any controversy here," Clemons said. "Everybody feels great about Michael Bishop and the way he has performed and everybody's comfortable with him starting coming into this game. And also he knows that ultimately Damon Allen is our No. 1 quarterback and at some point he's going to get that opportunity."

ARGOS SECOND

With a record of 3-2-1 since he took over the starter's job when Allen suffered a cracked left tibia in a game against Montreal on Aug. 12, Bishop has helped the team stay in playoff contention. The Argos are comfortably in second place, four points ahead of Hamilton in the CFL East.

Clemons flashed his trademark smile when asked if Bishop had a chance to hold on to the starter's job for at least another game if he performs well against the Lions.

"If he lights it up, that's a problem I'd like to have," Clemons said. "In terms of the quarterback position, we'll have a plan one game at a time. It's a little bit early in the week to have a solid plan."

One veteran observer suggested the Argos shouldn't rush Allen into the lineup on Monday.

"It doesn't really matter who's out there as long as we're winning and staying alive for the playoffs," Bishop said.

Allen believe he'll be ready if asked to play on Monday.

"Whenever I've come off injuries I've never worried about getting hurt," Allen said.

ARGOS NOTES

Running back Skip Hicks, who was activated two games ago against Winnipeg then left the team to pursue personal matters, has rejoined the team ... Word is that linebacker Kevin Eiben could be on the verge of signing a new deal with the Argos, thereby giving up his right to free agency next February.


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