TORONTO - The Toronto Argonauts have one thing going in their favour this weekend when they visit Saskatchewan.
Roughriders quarterback Darian Durant can’t possibly have as superb an outing as he did against them last week in Toronto.
At least, if the Argos have any hope at all, he better not. Durant threw for 310 yards, two touchdown passes and rushed for another major.
“Hopefully we’ll get him out rhythm a bit,” said Toronto head coach Jim Barker. “We have to tighten up. Durant was white hot, 19-of-21; he made some throws that were incredible. You tighten up on receivers and give them some different looks but that’s about all you can do.”
The defensive line couldn’t get much pressure, mostly because the ball was gone from Durant’s hand so quickly.
“He’s one of the best in the league. Last weekend he was finding the open guy. We’d get a good rush on him but he was getting rid of the ball so quick and put it right on the money,” Argos’ defensive end Alex Buzbee said yesterday. “This week we’re going to control our rushes and keep an eye on where he’s going and throwing and hopefully we can bat some balls down. We’ve been working on getting our hands up.”
Cleo Lemon was taking first-team reps and appears likely to start. The team also worked out yesterday with noise — supposedly mimicking what they’ll hear at Mosaic Field — blaring from speakers loaded on a cart on the practice field. “If his head’s clear after that noise today then it’s got to be real-l-l-l-ly clear,” Barker said of Lemon’s recovery from concussion.
The Argos may be without two defensive linemen. Kevin Huntley remains questionable with a sore shoulder. Adriano Belli (foot) had another setback. After a full practice Tuesday he left early Wednesday and never returned. “I know as much as you. I didn’t even know he left,” said Barker. “It’s very frustrating. He’s the type of guy I figured it might be one or two weeks and he’d be playing, but here we are nine weeks and it’s still bothering him ... he wants to play in the worst way. It’s a question if he can or not.”