Argos coach Bart Andrus figures Stephen Reaves can play in the Canadian Football League, but starting him is another matter.
With three games remaining in a season that officially will have gone nowhere when the Argonauts conclude against the Montreal Alouettes on Nov. 7, Toronto will stick with quarterback Kerry Joseph in the No. 1 role.
“At some point I would like to like to see (Reaves) in a game,” Andrus said yesterday. “A series here, a series there. I would like to see him in a game when it means something, too, not just a mop-up deal or that kind of thing.
“We have three weeks to get a look at him and I think we probably will.”
There’s no reason Reaves should not get a start before the season ends. Joseph became entrenched in the backup role in August in favour of Cody Pickett, but Pickett was unable to get the offence to work consistently. Now, with a torn oblique muscle, Pickett likely is done. He tried one hard throw in practice on Monday and had to shut it down because of the pain.
Joseph said a few weeks ago he does not know whether his long-term future involves the Argos. It has been a second consecutive year of frustration for Joseph in an Argos uniform, and though he is under contract for 2010, there is no guarantee he will return. With the off-season upheaval likely to include changes at the ownership and management levels, little should be assumed in Argoland.
Andrus has said his goal in the final three games is to win, but why not give Reaves the opportunity, beginning Friday night at home against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats?
What is there to lose?
The Argos have had little success developing quarterbacks in recent years, and Michael Bishop, whom they tried to bring along before Pickett, was traded to Saskatchewan last season after he was replaced by Joseph despite going 11-1 as a starter in 2007.
Reaves, a lefty, was signed by the Argos after performing well at a free-agent camp held in the spring.
“From a team standpoint, we are in a bad spot,” Reaves said. “But personally, I would be excited to go in and play. That’s what you practise for. You can only do so much in practice and it really does not count until you get out there and bullets are flying and you have to challenge yourself.
"I’m curious and anxious to see what I can do.”
Reaves wouldn’t bite when asked if he thinks he should be starting.
“We’re going to go with Kerry as much as possible and try to win games,” Reaves said. “We’re still trying to get better.”