Pinball's defence gets boost

Toronto Argonauts coach/GM Adam Rita barks orders to the offensive line at practice yesterday as...

Toronto Argonauts coach/GM Adam Rita barks orders to the offensive line at practice yesterday as they prepare for Saturday's game. (Toronto Sun/David Lucas)

DEAN McNULTY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:28 AM ET

The Argonauts may be a ways from solving their offensive woes but yesterday the team strengthened its defence with the addition of cornerback Byron Parker and the return of injured tackle Jerome Davis.

Davis has missed the past two games with a leg injury but was practising with the first string unit yesterday at the Argos practice field at the University of Toronto Erindale Campus.

Parker is making a comeback of sorts himself following a stint in the National Football League with the Dallas Cowboys.

He played with the Argos in the 2005 but left at season's end to pursue an NFL career. Parker looked like he was going to make the cut with the Cowboys but was released on the final day before training camp.

Yesterday he lined up with the second-string defence, but coach Pinball Clemons said he would have no hesitation putting him on the field Saturday when the Argos meet rival Hamilton Tiger Cats at Ivor Wynne Stadium.

"He won't be starting the game," Clemons said. "But we certainly welcome him back to the team. I was really rooting for him in Dallas, but their loss is our gain."

First-string quarterback Damon Allen was back taking snaps yesterday and looked like he has overcome the injury to his finger that kept him out of most of the past two games.

On the bad news side of the ledger, the Argos have cut wide receiver Robert Baker after he missed his second consecutive practice yesterday.

The wide receiver had been benched by Clemons for the first half of the Argos' 31-7 loss to the Montreal Alouettes last Thursday as a disciplinary measure.

Baker is in his third year with the team out of Auburn University before stopovers in the NFL with Miami, Denver and Minnesota.

There was a report out of Winnipeg yesterday that Baker was ready to sign for the remainder of the season with the Blue Bombers.

In six games with Toronto this year, Baker had 22 receptions for 217 yards.

Argos general manager Adam Rita said yesterday Baker seemed to have trouble fitting into the offensive system this season.

"We hope he can catch on with another team," Rita said. "He just wasn't going to work out here."

Clemons said he'll likely insert Sean Bennett into the wide receiver spot against the Ticats.

"We have a number of options for that position and Sean is one of them," Clemons said. "We also have Tony Miles, so we are pretty much set."

Rita said the team has no plans to bring anyone in to fill Baker's roster position.

Clemons did say that Saturday will be another pivotal game for the Argos.

"Let's face it -- there's pressure when you are 2-5," he said.

"Whoever wins the season series is likely to get a playoff game. So it's important. Just like all games are important."


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