Clock ticking on Bruce

FRANK ZICARELLI, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:19 AM ET

The Arland Bruce saga may be put to rest as early as today. Then again, it may fester until tomorrow.

Regardless of its timing, Bruce's time as an Argo appears to be over.

The suspended receiver was told to stay away from yesterday's team meeting, but he did meet briefly with assistant coach Mike Jones at the Argos' training facility in Mississauga.

When he emerged to confer with the media, head coach Bart Andrus acknowledged he hadn't given any further thought to the Bruce matter.

He hinted, though, that a decision on Bruce's status may be rendered today.

Andrus suspended Bruce for last week's game in Winnipeg when the flamboyant wideout sought out the media to air his beef with the coach, who had earlier informed Bruce that he wouldn't be making the trip to Winnipeg, and basically called out incumbent quarterback Kerry Joseph.

Bruce often is described as a loose cannon, who, while talented, is selfish and lacks focus.

All one needs to recall is the sideline altercation between Bruce and veteran middle linebacker Mike O'Shea during the 2006 Eastern final in Montreal to understand just how divisive Bruce can be. It was the same year Bruce was voted by reporters as the Argos' most outstanding player.

It would appear on the surface that Andrus has no choice but to get rid of Bruce because he is a headache.

The only question is whether the Argos release Bruce outright, which can conceivably occur as soon as today or hope that some desperate team calls to engineer a trade.

The latter is highly unlikely.

When the Argos finally realized during their bye week last season that Joseph and Michael Bishop could not co-exist, the team traded Bishop to Saskatchewan for a conditional draft pick.

Talk was the Argos were poised to release Bishop outright.

It's interesting that Bishop, who has been biding his time in Texas, is poised to join the quarterback-poor and offensively challenged Blue Bombers, who visit Toronto this Saturday.

Don't be surprised if Bruce isn't far behind.

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The two had a good relationship in Toronto, primarily because Bishop often threw to Bruce, whether it was into single, double or even triple coverage.

Not surprisingly, Bruce made no secret that he preferred Bishop over Joseph.

Bruce broke into the CFL with the Blue Bombers in 2001.

Without Bruce, the Argos produced 144 passing yards in Friday's 19-5 win that saw the visitors feature the run.

Today's the day Andrus and his staff will piece together their game plan for Saturday afternoon's kickoff.

The exercise will be made a little easier because the Argos are playing the same lame opponent.

Barring a bizarre change, the game plan won't include Bruce.

"I'm still looking at all the things that went into the decision (to suspend Bruce)," Andrus said.

"I haven't made up my mind completely."


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