Argos add insurance with Ford

FRANK ZICARELLI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:18 AM ET

Jim Barker gives every player he coaches every opportunity to leave his mark on the field.

When they fail after a series of opportunities, they're told to leave, which is the fate that applied to receivers Jeffery Webb and Carl Berman, Canadian linebacker Kyle Jones and import linebacker Leon Joe.

As insurance for running back Cory Boyd, the Argos have added Mike Ford to their practice roster.

Like Boyd, Ford has experienced his share of difficulties, but the Argos did about two months' work looking at Ford and the circumstances that led to the University of South Florida suspending Ford.

In January, Ford was named MVP of the International Bowl at Rogers Centre, where he rushed for a career-high 207 yards.

The bye week provided the perfect opportunity for the Argos to re-assess their roster.

What future changes await isn't known.

What is known is that NFL cuts are on-going and CFL teams will be able to add by five to their practice roster come October.

Even if a player gets cut by an NFL team, they can still get picked up on waivers, often leaving a CFL team in limbo.

York product Ricky Foley has been cut by Seattle, free to sign with any CFL team, including the Argos, who, it's believed, have begun to discuss the merits of pursuing Foley.

An athletic freak who lines up at defensive end, Foley won't come on the cheap.

Shell game

No one has ever questioned Lin-J Shell's character or commitment.

His name got thrown into the mud following an alleged spitting incident against Hamilton that resulted in Shell's ejection.

After reviewing the play, the CFL decided not to mete out further punishment.

"I know Lin-J Shell and I know Lin-J Shell's parents,'' Barker said. "I know his upbringing and I know he'd never spit on someone's face."

Barker believes the game officials called what they saw, a play that featured Ticats linebacker Agustin Barrenechea and Shell trash talking following a convert.

"I'm happy the league has decided not to fine Lin-J. He's not the kind,'' added Barker, who reckons spittle came out of Shell's mouth as the DBs head moved during his exchange of words with Barrenechea.


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