Zeke Moreno is on track to make his Argonauts debut in the season opener.
The Argos got a big scare during practice on Friday when Moreno, who has led the Canadian Football League in defensive tackles in each of his two seasons, suffered a left Achilles injury.
But head coach Bart Andrus figured Moreno will be in uniform on July 1 when the Argos open in Hamilton against the Tiger-Cats. Moreno won't play, however, tomorrow night in the pre-season finale in Steeltown.
"As long as we can keep the inflammation under control, he will be okay," Andrus said after practice at the Argos' training facility in Mississauga yesterday morning. "There's a sheath around the Achilles tendon, like a membrane, and that part was stretched and tore a little bit. When you say something tore, it sounds bad, but this is not. It's a one-week or 10-day kind of thing."
Moreno, who did some exercises on the sideline with a bandage wrapped around his lower leg, represents a vital new part of the defence under Andrus and co-ordinator Pete Kuharchek.
There has been a bit of a wrinkle the past few days as Willie Pile, who has emerged as a stalwart at linebacker in two seasons, was taking some reps at free safety. Pile, 29, was a safety in college at Virginia Tech.
The Argos have not had an everyday safety since Orlondo Steinauer was released last year, with Will Poole getting some starts.
"The defensive coaches are experimenting with a couple of things and that is one of them," Andrus said. "Willie has good range back there. It was a bit of an attention-getter for the guys. There were some uncomfortable moments (on Saturday) when they first started doing that.
"They're just thinking in terms of getting guys familiar in case somebody goes down in a game."
As far as familiarity goes, one guy not feeling his way around during camp is defensive tackle Walt Curry.
The burly Curry, who comes in at 6-foot-3 and 307 pounds, was signed by the Argos for the final eight games last season and has not only settled in along the line but in the locker room as well. Of course, experiencing a win in Double Blue would be nice.
"I'm 0-8, yes sir, but it's part of the game I signed up for," Curry said. "We won't be 0-8 again. The guys opened their arms to me last year and we're a big family. We're starting to put the puzzle together." Curry is nothing if not outgoing. Married to an elementary school teacher, he's a loud, happy guy, and he has six solid gold teeth, three on top, three on the bottom. Caps are the pretenders.
"Some guys have tattoos, some guys have dreadlocks," Curry said, flashing a grin. "It's just me. Got the first one when I was 15. People notice them when I'm out in public, but that's good."