Joseph's future uncertain

TERRY KOSHAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:58 AM ET

REGINA -- Kerry Joseph definitely is part of the Argonauts' short-term plans.

Anything after that, though, Joseph can only guess.

The 36-year-old quarterback will start tonight for the first time in more than two months at Mosaic Stadium against the Saskatchewan Roughriders, but the signs don't necessarily point to Joseph being around next season to help pick up the pieces of all that has gone wrong in 2009.

"I'm not sure," Joseph said when asked whether he felt he was a part of Toronto's long-term plans.

"I'm not looking toward that right now. I just want to help us get a win and continue to stay alive in this playoff push. That's the most important thing. Long-term, we will deal with that after the season."

It's hard to blame Joseph for being ambiguous. No one, from general manager Adam Rita to head coach Bart Andrus to the majority of the players, has a concrete idea of whether they will be back next year. But a few victories in the final five games might allow some in the organization to exhale.

The Argos wanted to get an idea of what Cody Pickett would be like as a starter, and after he went 1-6 and threw for just three touchdowns, they had their answer. Joseph has not started since Aug. 7, when the Argos were blanked 25-0 in Montreal.

"It's going to be good to be back out there with the guys," Joseph said, minutes after learning he would start. "It's good to get back against a team that I had a chance to practise with a lot. So I have a lot of familiarity with these guys."

The forecast for the game is -11 Celsius with a wind chill, and snow flurries. A day after saying the weather would not play a role in his decision with his quarterbacks, Andrus acknowledged yesterday he took that into consideration.

Joseph spent two seasons with the Roughriders, including a Grey Cup championship year in 2007 when he was named the most outstanding player in the Canadian Football League, and played in some harsh weather.

"I think it will be appropriate to have someone out there who is used to and has played several games in these conditions," Andrus said. "I based the decision (to start Joseph) on a lot of factors, but primarily it was the ability to perform the game plan in practice."

If Joseph -- who last winter signed a contract extension through 2010 -- one day writes his CFL memoirs, any part about good times in Toronto might be a quick read.

The Argos are 3-10 and are bound to miss the playoffs for the second year in a row.

"I'm in the middle of it," Joseph said. "Who do you point the blame at? It has been tough times and frustrating times. But when I kneel down and say my prayers, I know the Lord upstairs will take care of me and won't put me in a situation I couldn't handle."

TERRY.KOSHAN@SUNMEDIA.CA


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