Hill survives cuts

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:13 AM ET

Now that the Argos have decided to keep Hakim Hill, they have to figure out how to use him in the season opener.

The flashy rookie running back survived the final cuts yesterday, predicated by his outstanding training camp and pre-season, including a 51-yard touchdown against Hamilton on Friday.

He's scheduled to make his regular-season debut this Saturday at home against B.C. as a starter or backup.

"John Avery is the starting running back," Hill said after the game. "He has proven himself. He's battle-tested. All I want to do is be the guy that keeps the offence moving so that we don't have to lose a beat when he has to come out of the game for any situation."

Avery missed both pre-season games with an adductor injury, but expects to be ready for the season opener. If he is not 100%, the Argos will start him off on the injured list.

Even if Avery is healthy, Hill can return kicks and play on other special teams to allow him to be on the roster as the designated import, which would require taking another import off, likely return specialist Bashir Levingston. Arland Bruce could handle punt-return duties.

"I know there's a lot that goes into who makes the team and stuff like that," Hill said. "I'm not sure how the (import/non-import ratio) plays off. That's for the guys in the front office and the coaches who make those decisions. I had a lot of fun playing football in the pre-season. I still have some things to learn. It's a very complex offence."

Quarterback Michael Bishop solidified his position as the backup to Damon Allen with two touchdowns, including the winner, but will be looking for some playing time.

"If Damon goes in and starts and plays well, then everybody is happy," he said. "If Damon goes in and doesn't play well, then I would love an opportunity. Whether I get that opportunity I don't know, but I'm going to play it day to day and see how everything unfolds. But I'd love to be in there every play and make it happen with my teammates. I've just got to make sure I'm ready to go and play when the opportunity comes."

BRIEFLY

It appears as if rookie offensive lineman Jerome Davis will start the season at right tackle following the release yesterday of John Feugill, who had been the starter off and on for two seasons. Davis has a thicker body build than Feugill, who had put on extra weight going into training camp at the team's insistence ... Second-year offensive lineman Dave Costa, who can play guard or tackle, is recovering from a recent knee scope, but could push Davis for the starting spot when he recovers ... Charlie Peterson beat out Scott Covington for the third-string quarterback job. Peterson's brother, Paul, won the third-string quarterback job in Ottawa, but only because Brad Banks will start the season on the injured list ... Receiver Andre Rison suffered a rib injury against Hamilton.


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