Brady hurt, McManus stays No. 1

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:17 AM ET

HAMILTON -- Danny McManus will join Damon Allen in the 40-something starting quarterback club.

With McManus delivering a much-needed solid performance on his 40th birthday and backup Marcus Brady suffering a minor rib injury last night, the veteran solidified his role as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats' starter in a 34-31 pre-season finale loss against the Argos.

Even if Brady was fully healthy, McManus still would deserve No. 1 billing heading into the season opener Wednesday in Montreal against the Alouettes.

"Finishing our exhibition game right now, Danny is still the starting quarterback here," said Ticats coach Greg Marshall, who won't be afraid to use Brady in certain situations.

After throwing three interceptions in a 16-16 tie against the Argos last week in Halifax, McManus bounced back last night, leading the Ticats to three touchdowns in just over a quarter. By turning the ball over, the Argos gave McManus a short field to work with on the first two touchdown drives. But McManus, who hit Chris Brazzell from six yards out for his only touchdown throw of the game, had to start from his own one-yard line on the third scoring sequence. Twelve plays and 109 yards later, the Ticats were back in the end zone after a two-yard Troy Davis rush.

"That 109-yard drive, we definitely felt it," said McManus, who did not throw an interception. "That was a long drive and it was good to get one in.

"Last week things were going pretty fast. They slowed down a little bit (last night). Each game is going to get a little better as far as everybody getting on the same page."

Brady, who also struggled last week, wasn't bad last night. He threw one interception and one touchdown -- a 72-yard catch-and-run hookup with Chad Rempel. Brady played most of the second and third quarters before suffering the injury.

"It's tough to tell (if he will be ready for Wednesday)," he said. "I'll probably know within the next few days how it feels."

With the season opener four days away, McManus didn't party hard last night. Playing on his 40th birthday was enough to put a smile on his face.

"It's fun to be out there playing at the age of 40," McManus said. "My goal, since (he started) playing football, (was) to play a football game at 40. It just happened to fall on the same day. It worked out well."


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