It's go time for Boston

FRANK ZICARELLI -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:11 AM ET

David Boston finally is able to put his best foot forward at a time when the Argos hopeful appeared to be going backward.

While he's far from 100% healthy, Boston did take part in his first practice with the team yesterday, making such a first impression with first-year head coach Rich Stubler that Boston will dress for this Friday's regular-season opener in Winnipeg.

"He's on the roster, period," Stubler exclaimed. "Whether he plays depends on how he grasps things this week."

As early as two weeks ago, the Argos weren't counting on Boston to do anything for at least 10 weeks in the wake of a foot injury that prevented the former NFL first-round draft pick from practising.

After consulting a foot specialist in Maryland, Boston was told that surgery was required.

After consulting with another specialist in Tennessee, Boston realized that his ailment was a pre-existing condition that could be managed.

"There's no pain at this point,'' Boston said after he tested his right foot during yesterday's practice session. "I was glad I was able to test it.

"It felt great."

Boston admits there are risks to playing on a fractured foot, but he's willing to face any repercussion.

"I've made the decision and I'm not going to dwell on it,'' he said. "I'm prepared to live with the consequences if something negative happens."

Given all the negative coverage leading up to Boston's arrival, his damaged foot is the least of his worries.

Like some Americans who travel north of the border, Boston brought with him some personal demons.

Two years ago, Boston was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after being arrested for DUI, one of several missteps in an NFL career that was at times spectacular.

Last year, he sat out the entire season and was hopeful of getting a fresh start on his professional and personal life when the Argos signed the Ohio State product to a free-agent contract in April.

"I'm a long way from being the player I want to be,'' Boston said. "There's so much to learn."

What intrigued the Argos about Boston isn't easily taught, though.

"He has size and he has ability,'' Stubler said.

The Argos have assembled quite a receiving corp, at least on paper.

Bethel Johnson looked impressive in training camp and during the two pre-season games.

In Arland Bruce III, the Argos field one of the CFL's most electrifying players.

Boston, who is listed at 6-foot-1 and 232 pounds, presents yet another big and speedy target for a passing offence that will be vertical.

The Argos yesterday added former Syracuse receiver Johnnie Morant, who was a final cut of the Oakland Raiders last year.

"I like what I've seen so far,'' the 6-foot-4, 235-pound Morant said. "I just have to get into football shape."

BACK TO SCHOOL

Toronto native Mike Bradwell, the Argos' first selection (13th overall) in this year's draft, has decided to return to McMaster.

The receiving prospect nursed a hamstring injury throughout his first pro camp and never got an opportunity to practise with the Argos.


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