Argos can't get respect

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:44 AM ET

Winning the Grey Cup last year hasn't earned the Argos much respect for a repeat from an international betting house that also happens to be one of their sponsors.

Bowman's International published its early odds yesterday, indicating Edmonton as the 3-2 top choice followed by Montreal at 5-2 and B.C. at 3-1. The Argos are next at 6-1.

AVERY ON THE MEND

Running back John Avery will miss the pre-season game against Hamilton on Saturday in Halifax because of an injury, although it's not serious.

Avery, who missed almost all of training camp and both pre-season games last year with a knee injury, has aggravated his adductor -- the muscle towards the centre line of the body -- and has been sidelined the last two days of practice. The Argos planned to limit his production anyway to evaluate flashy rookie Hakim Hill.

While few teams carry two import running backs, the Argos want to find a way to keep Hill on the regular-season roster.

"He has to back up a receiver and a running back but he's capable of doing that," vice-president of football operations Adam Rita said.

DELIVERY DATE

Scott Covington, who is battling for the third-string job quarterback job behind Damon Allen and Michael Bishop, left practice early yesterday because his wife, Jennifer, was in the process of giving birth to the couple's first child.

Covington's status for the first pre-season game is uncertain because he's been bothered by a shoulder/arm injury.


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