MONTREAL - Adriano Belli will return to the Argonauts lineup on Sunday for the last game of the regular season after missing 12 games with a foot injury.
The burly defensive tackle will face the Alouettes at Molson Stadium, where he suffered the injury on July 29.
The Argos activated Belli from the nine-game injured list to make him eligible. The 33-year-old is not worried that he could re-injure the foot, something that could keep him out of the East Division semi-final on Nov. 14 in Hamilton against the Tiger-Cats.
“I have been playing defensive tackle for a long enough time that a few other things are wrong with my body, so add it to the long list,” Belli said on Saturday after the Argos completed their walk-through at a downtown hotel. “It has been (frustrating). I have had a broken pelvis, I have had a bunch of different things. Concussions, everything. But when you have something wrong with your foot, I feel like a ballerina out there. It’s one of those injuries I wished I could have played through.”
BRANNAGAN TO PLAY?
There’s a chance Canadian quarterback Danny Brannagan could see some snaps.
Starting quarterback Cleo Lemon will be relieved by backup Dalton Bell at some point, and after that, Brannagan, who has not played in a meaningful game since the Vanier Cup final a year ago, might get in.
“I want Cleo to get a couple of series, and he is not going to play much longer than that,” Argos head coach Jim Barker said. “I want him to feel good about himself and I want to see Dalton and hopefully get Danny in.”
No Canadian quarterback has started in the CFL since Giulio Caravatta started for the B.C. Lions in 1996.
With Chad Owens nursing a small calf muscle pull, the Argos will rely on Andre Durie and Anthony Alridge to return punts and kickoffs.
Owens’ absence means he will not have a chance to set a CFL record for most total kick return yards in a season. Owens has 2,701 yards, 177 fewer than the 2,878 piled up by Eric Blount of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 1998.
And Cory Boyd also is out, which means he will not win the league rushing title, despite leading for much of the season. Winnipeg’s Fred Reid took over the lead on Friday night and ended with 1,396 rushing yards. Boyd is in second with 1,359. Joffrey Reynolds of the Calgary Stampeders was third with 1,200.