Argos' tempers boil over

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:29 PM ET

TORONTO - Tempers ran hot at Argonauts practice on Thursday.

Not long after head coach Jim Barker yelled at defensive tackle Matthias Askew, who was signed to the practice roster this week, for getting into it with a couple of offensive linemen, star returner Chad Owens and backup cornerback Delroy Clarke had to be separated by teammates.

Barker, who then called the team to the middle of the field at the Erindale training field in Mississauga and ripped into the players for not showing respect, said later he didn’t have a big problem with the high emotions.

“It’s really guys caring about their jobs – a practice roster guy (Askew) trying to get on, a scout guy (Clarke) and a guy (Owens) who makes sure that he gets the look he needs to get,” Barker said. “I think it will be good for us to hit somebody else (in Winnipeg on Saturday versus the Blue Bombers).”

Owens and Clarke refused to speak to reporters after practice.

The Argos are 7-8, but have won just two of their past eight games.

HUNTLEY OUT

Defensive end Kevin Huntley (shoulder) will not play in Winnipeg, Barker confirmed.

“I’m not going to allow him to play injured,” Barker said. “It’s one thing to play hurt, it is another to play injured. He is injured. Hopefully it can get rectified before the playoffs.”

The injury kept Huntley, who leads the Argos with nine sacks, out two games ago, but he played last week against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Running back Cory Boyd, who watched the majority of practice for the second day in a row as he recovers from a tender left ankle, definitely will play against Winnipeg, Barker said.

NO PLAYOFF TALK

The possibility of earning a playoff spot this weekend is so close the Argos can almost touch it. If they win, they’re win. If not, they still get in if the B.C. Lions, who visit the Calgary Stampeders, or if the Edmonton Eskimos, who play host to the Saskatchewan Roughriders, lose.

But Barker has not been preaching that scenario this week.

“We have not approached it like that at all,” Barker said. “Playoff stuff is going to take care of itself. If B.C. and Edmonton win out, and we lose out, we are out of the playoffs, and we would deserve to be (out).

“For us, it is about getting better this week and progressing our passing game to get to a level so that when we get to Nov. 14 (for the East semi-final against Hamilton), we are ready to play.”


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