P.K. Sam has taken a couple of rather large steps since he last caught a pass for the Argonauts.
Last winter, the 26-year-old became a father with the birth of his son, Philip Kenwood Sam III, and was married.
But for the Argos, Sam, who left the club in the off-season for the Buffalo Bills, only to get cut and return several weeks ago, simply is the next guy who will be looked upon to bring some flash to the offence.
"Outside of football, it has been an awesome year," Sam said yesterday. "Now, if I can add that joy to the field ..."
The Argos will fall further into obscurity if they lose tonight at home to the defending Grey Cup champion Calgary Stampeders, who have nice shiny rings but also a 3-4 record since beating the Alouettes in Montreal last November. At 2-5, Toronto has the worst record in the Canadian Football League and has not won at home in more than a year.
Sam could bring a glimmer of hope to an Argos offence that has produced 134 points, the worst in the CFL. He will line up at slotback, alongside wide receiver Chad Lucas, the Argos' first deep threat in a few seasons. Sam joined the Argos for the final six games of 2008 and was solid, finishing fourth in team receiving with 499 yards and three touchdowns.
That led to a contract with the Bills, who wound up letting Sam go last month without seeing him in a pre-season game after he suffered a quad injury. Sam then tweaked a groin with the Argos on Monday, but finally is ready to play his first set of downs since last October.
"I have been restless," said the bearded Sam, who usually has diamonds studs twinkling in his earlobes and a baseball cap perched backward on his head. "I was talking to my wife about it ... but it's finally here.
"I've pushed through (the injuries). I'm ready to play and I feel like it has all been worth it."
Sam and Cody Pickett, who will make his second start in a row at quarterback for the Argos, have a history together and that should help. The two were teammates in 2007 with the Rhein Fire of NFL Europe and Pickett threw one touchdown pass for the Argos last year, which was caught by Sam in a game against the B.C. Lions.
What's more, Sam feels as if he is part of something with the Argos this season. By the time he joined the Boatmen a year ago, they were a rudderless ship under Don Matthews and didn't win another game.
"I got here late and I did not really understand what was going on," Sam said. "Now I have (two-thirds) of a season, and I am looking forward to the push."