Middlebrooks looking to play Labour Day

Willie Middlebrooks is accustomed to being in the middle of the action, not used to periods of inactivity.

When he felt a twinge in his groin in a home game versus Montreal, Middlebrooks knew something was amiss.

At halftime, he tried to stretch the area and even required the assistance of the team's chiropractor.

When nothing worked, Middlebrooks was forced to watch the second half and then watched as the Argos entered their bye week with a loss to Hamilton.

"It was tough, but this injury gave our younger guys an opportunity and they played well," Middlebrooks said as he returned to his customary spot at corner in the Argos defensive secondary at Wednesday's workout.

"Every day during the bye week I was getting treatment. I'm pushing the groin every day and mentally I feel good."

Barring a setback in the days leading up to Monday, Middlebrooks is expected to start on Labour Day.

A win by Hamilton pulls the Ticats into a tie with the Argos at 5-4 and the tiebreaker in the three-game season series.

"It's a playoff game, no doubt about it," Middlebrooks added. "The atmosphere will have the feel of a playoff game.

"The fans in Hamilton will be crazy and if you have any passion for football, you definitely want to be one of the guys on that field."

Belli making progress

Adriano Belli (foot) was able to take part in some drills on Wednesday, this after being able to run when the Argos reconvened on Tuesday following their bye week.

Head coach Jim Barker can't say when Belli, an anchor at defensive tackle, will be back in a game setting, but he knows his veteran is improving.

Extra points

In a stat that reveals just how solid the team's kickoff cover unit has been, Barker said an opponent has started 13 straight times inside its 30-yard line. Given a chance to field a kickoff following a field goal, the Ticats decided to scrimmage from their 35 yard line ... The Argos on Wednesday announced the release of non-import linebacker Raymond Fontaine, whom the team took in the second round of the 2005 draft.


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