Wynn vaults into spotlight

PERRY LEFKO -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:57 AM ET

Damon Allen began the season wanting to play every game, while Spergon Wynn hoped to at least play more than last year, which amounted to not one single regular-season snap.

Now the two quarterbacks find themselves in uniquely different situations. Allen is sidelined for four to six weeks -- notwithstanding his ability to heal quickly -- after breaking the middle finger of his throwing hand early in the Argos' 27-17 season-opening victory against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Saturday.

Wynn has become the Argos' temporary starter -- and possibly the heir apparent to the 42-year-old Allen. In fact, if there is such a thing as something good resulting from something bad, this is one such example.

In fact, if you go back one game, Allen's mysterious injury early in the final pre-season game -- whatever caused him to be sidelined never was fully disclosed -- allowed Wynn to take some valuable reps at game speed. The lessons he learned from that experience became useful tools when Allen suffered his latest injury.

Wynn is into his fourth season in the Canadian Football League and his third team, following two seasons with the B.C. Lions and one with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, in which he didn't register one snap because of a knee injury and the Bombers coaching staff's indifference toward him. But the Argos saw something interesting about Wynn -- a seventh-round draft choice of the Cleveland Browns in 2000 --and acquired him in the off-season by trading defensive back Mike Crumb and a second-round pick to Winnipeg. Wynn's total CFL ledger showed 67 completions in 96 regular-season attempts. Wynn likely will exceed those numbers by the time Allen is ready to return.

When apprised after the Hamilton victory that teams now will be able to draw up a game plan specifically for him, Wynn replied: "Yeah, but I don't have that much film. All I can do is just go out there and execute our game plan and I think we'll be fine."

Against Hamilton, Wynn threw an interception among his 28 attempts, 18 of which landed in the right hands, but said he'll learn from that and won't do it again in the following game. That comes Friday, coincidentally, against the Bombers in Winnipeg. It should make for an interesting storyline.

"That's not irony, that's just the way life is," he said. "It's nothing special going on. It's not like I want to go out and do this or that. We're just trying to go out there and get a (win). We're going to execute our stuff and it's not like, 'Oh, it's Winnipeg. We've got to do something different.' "

While Wynn was talking, Allen was lamenting the circumstances that have shelved him. He landed on his hand and his middle finger gave way. For whatever reason, he has been injured each year since he joined the Argos in 2003. A broken tibia sidelined him in the eighth game of the 2004 season when the Argos had a 5-2 record and were hoping to topple the division-leading Montreal Alouettes. They lost the game and lost him, though he made an amazing recovery and missed only seven games. He helped the Argos clinch second place with a victory in his first start back and, collectively, he and the team put it all together to win the Grey Cup.

That still will be his goal when he returns to play. He also has a chance to break Warren Moon's career record of 70,552 passing yards. He needs only 1,231.

"A bad year for a quarterback is 1,200 yards," he said. "Records are meant to be broken and they'll be broken in due time, but my whole premise is about playing. It ain't about records. It's about playing the game. That's probably what I'm most disappointed about."

So while one quarterback ponders lost playing time, another one thinks about how little he played last year and how all that has changed because of something as simple as a broken finger.


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