Argonauts fully loaded

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 12:00 PM ET

While the Toronto Argonauts were spread around North America, enjoying the bye week and relaxing tired muscles, Andre Talbot was busy punishing himself.

Every other key component of the Argos offence was planning on making a trip to Calgary to face the Stamps and the Canadian receiver didn't want to be left out again.

A torn oblique muscle, suffered Aug. 12 against Hamilton, kept Talbot on the sidelines and away from some special moments.

He had already missed Damon Allen going past the 70,000-yard mark and when the quarterback eclipsed Warren Moon's all-time yardage record.

So when Talbot stepped onto the McMahon Stadium turf yesterday for a walk through with Allen and the complete Argos offence, all the hard work was worth the effort.

"All these guys were taking a week off to relax and unwind," Talbot said. "I was in the gym working my butt off making sure I could get back for this game.

"It was definitely tough being out, especially with Damon coming back and the team winning. I really want to contribute."

Today's matchup with the Calgary Stampeders (5 p.m., CBC) marks the first game since the season opener Allen will have all his weapons at his disposal.

Talbot was just one the latest injuries in a season of inexplicable bad luck for the Argos. But the receiver isn't the most publicized member of the team to return against the Stamps.

Running back Ricky Williams missed the past seven games with a broken arm but will take over the starting assignment from Canadian Jeff Johnson.

In that time, Williams' backups all suffered bumps and bruises, causing each to miss some action. Johnson pulled a quad, John Avery hurt his foot, John Williams suffered a concussion and Sean Bennett injured his finger.

The house of pain also hit the receivers particularly hard as Michael Palmer pulled a hamstring, Tony Miles damaged a finger, R. Jay Soward went down with a leg injury and Shockmain Davis blew out his knee.

Heading into Calgary, everyone except Davis and Avery are available, giving Allen the most options he will enjoy all season.

"These are my guys now," said Allen, who also missed four games with a broken finger.

"The past few years, we haven't had to deal with this kind of stuff but we handled the situation and came out of it well."


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