Of all the things that have plagued the Argonauts this season on the field, the loss of slotback Andre Talbot has been among the hardest to overcome.
Talbot had a career year in 2008, setting personal highs with 915 receiving yards and 76 receptions. But the 31-year-old Toronto native has not played since suffering a foot injury in Week 3 in Calgary and there is not telling when he will be back this season, if at all.
“He was definitely a guy we were counting on for the duration of the season,” head coach Bart Andrus said. “It’s huge (as far as a loss goes) because the rest of them are so young.”
That has been part of the problem — Canadian receivers such as Tyler Scott and Mike Bradwell have not been able to fill the void. Bradwell, a 22-year-old rookie, is feeling his way through his first season in the Canadian Football League and Scott, with just one touchdown, has stalled somewhat after showing flashes as a rookie last season. Scott also has had concussion problems.
The Argos are 3-8 and play on Saturday night in Winnipeg against the equally bad Blue Bombers, who also have a 3-8 record.
Since becoming a full-time regular for the Argos in 2004, Talbot had missed only six games prior to this season.
How much has the Argos receiving corps as a whole been decimated in 2009 by injuries, the trading of Arland Bruce and the inability to get in synch with quarterbacks Cody Pickett and Kerry Joseph? Chad Lucas has played in seven of the team’s 11 games but leads the Argos with 480 yards receiving, good for just 17th in the CFL.
Meanwhile, offensive tackle Cliff Washburn re-joined the Argos for practice yesterday. Washburn, cut by the Houston Texans on Sept. 5, started three games for the Argos last year. Andrus said he is unsure when or if Washburn will get into the lineup.