Abrams atones in a big way

FRANK ZICARELLI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:49 AM ET

Josh Abrams plays on football’s island, a place where one mistake often leads to one big play and at times a touchdown.

It’s a job that requires a short memory and an ability to put aside a poor decision and mentally prepare for the next play.

Abrams was thrust into the secondary Saturday night against the high-powered Als when incumbent Willie Middlebrooks succumbed to the overwhelming heat that engulfed the Rogers Centre, where the roof remained shut for reasons that aren’t easily explainable.

Heat gets to Argos

The Argos were dropping like some receivers were dropping balls, even during the pre-game warmup.

Abrams’ shot came and then the moment of truth arrived when the Als scrimmaged from Toronto’s 49-yard line on third and short.

Like they did more most of this night, the Als were trailing and had to gamble on a down and distance that called for a run.

But the way Anthony Calvillo was finding receivers, the Als were bent on throwing the football.

Lined up on the strong side of the field, Abrams was matched up against S.J. Green, one on one, no help over the top in the secondary.

One pump fake by the veteran Calvillo, one moment of indecision by Abrams one easy touchdown reception by Green, who basically walked into the end zone from about the 20-yard line.

“I remember that happened to me, twice,’’ said veteran defensive back Byron Parker. “That’s just part of the game. It happens, but as a DB you simply must move on.

“Let’s face it: We have by far the worse position in football, but this sport is the ultimate team game and we rallied around our teammate.”

The Argos did rally against the besieged Abrams, who atoned for that mistake by making a huge knockdown when Calvillo was marching the Als toward the end zone.

There also came a moment when Abrams, who also plays on special teams, made a key block to free Ryan Christian on a 109-yard kickoff return for a touchdown that broke Terry Greer’s 1981 Argos record for longest in team history.

“All the guys in the secondary, Byron, Lin-J Shell, Willie Pile, got in my ear and kept telling me to forget about it,’’ Abrams said. “Just concentrate on the next play, but it was tough.

“I was upset at myself, but when I made that play later in the game in a big moment, I was very excited.”

Atonement became validation for Abrams and victory for the Argos.

“What was important for me was to go through my keys,’’ Abrams added. “I just want to contribute any way possible and it felt good to play a role.”

Abrams endured the roller coaster of emotions like no other, an experience that is sure to serve this Argos rookie well in the future when a similar situation arises.


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