MONTREAL -- Damon Allen's fickle finger wouldn't allow him to play yesterday, but the veteran is eyeing next Saturday's suddenly crucial game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Allen took part in the pre-game warmup at Percival Molson Stadium, was announced in the pre-game player introductions as the Argos' starter and then decided to pull himself out after notifying head coach Michael (Pinball) Clemons.
"I was having a difficult time pulling down on the ball," Allen said as he watched the Argos drop a 31-7 decision to the Als and Toronto's record to 2-5. "My throws were up. It's always a difficult situation whether you're going to go out and hurt your team."
Allen broke the middle finger in his right -- or throwing -- hand on the third play from scrimmage in the season opener against the Tigers-Cats.
The low point arrived last night when the Argos defence outscored the offence.
Quarterback Spergon Wynn couldn't find a rhythm and was replaced by Eric Crouch when the fourth quarter began.
Allen returned last week in the team's 28-8 loss to the B.C. Lions, throwing three interceptions and experiencing soreness.
Clemons expressed optimism that Allen would be ready for a Ticats team that can pull even with the Argos with a win tonight in Winnipeg against the Blue Bombers.
"Let's not kid ourselves," Clemons said. "The offence starts with the quarterback position. You get consistency at quarterback and he drives the rest of the engine."
The Argos will get this weekend off. The extra time between games will allow Allen to get healthier, but he knows he has to deal with the discomfort in his finger.
"The doctor told me the bone has healed," Allen said. "It's a matter of dealing with the pain."
"There's so much pressure on the offence that everything gets magnified," Allen said. "Even if a quarterback misses one pass, there's that type of pressure. Right now good things aren't happening."