The Argonauts bought an insurance policy yesterday in the name of Troy Davis, who they hope will be able to fill a hole in the offence caused by a season-ending injury to fullback Jeff Johnson.
Davis, a seven-year Canadian Football League veteran, was cut earlier this season by the Edmonton Eskimos in a move to trim costs.
He had been acquired by the Eskimoes from the Hamilton Tiger Cats in 2005 to bolster their offensive running game and did just that, helping the club win the Grey Cup later that season.
Argos coach Michael (Pinball) Clemons said yesterday that for now Davis is in camp only to practice and would be doubtful to start against his former team on the front-end of a home-and-home series that kicks off Friday in the Alberta capital.
"(We) have signed Davis to a practice roster agreement," the team said in a release.
The 32-year-old Davis brings plenty of experience to Toronto, having led the CFL in rushing yards three times, as well as earning an all-star nod in 2004.
Last season he carried the ball 190 times for 1,060 yards and four touchdowns for the Esks. He also had 67 receptions for 546 yards.
If he sticks with the Argos it will be as a backup to running back Robert Edwards, who ran roughshod over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Sunday, gaining 85 yards in a 31-23 victory that boosted the Argos to within a point of Edmonton in the CFL's crossover playoff spot.
Johnson, meanwhile, will spend the rest of the season recuperating from a broken leg suffered while blocking for Dominique Dorsey's 97-yard kick return in the game against Winnipeg.
It was never a matter of the 5-foot-8 Davis not being able to play that caused Eskimos coach Danny Maciocia to cut him before that start of this season.
It was strictly a matter of money.
"We couldn't afford to have a guy that is 32 making six figures (for a salary)," Maciocia said.
The surprise is that it took this long for another CFL team to pick up Davis, according to his former teammate, Eskimos running back Ron McClendon.
"He is probably one of the best north-south runners in the CFL," McClendon said.
Davis' agent Bob Kirchheimer vows that his client will show that he can contribute to the Argos in their run for a playoff spot.
"Troy has a lot of football left in him," Kirchheimer said.