Argos down one ... before kickoff

Frank Zicarelli, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:03 AM ET

Some time from the time Jim Barker met with the media on Friday and the time leading up to Saturday night’s kickoff, the Argos forgot the ‘C’ in the CFL stood for Canadian.

It’s an exaggeration, of course, but in keeping with Toronto’s bizarre season, the Argos could not field the mandatory 20 Canadians against their arch-rival Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Technically, the Argos met the quota by having the allotted number of 20 on the active roster, but only 19 dressed.

The scenario that unfolded was similar to the events surrounding a game last season when Adriano Belli was on the active list, but was not able to play because of the injury.

With no other Canadians available, at least none healthy enough to play, the Argos essentially played one man short, dressing 41 bodies when 42 are able to suit up on game day.

On the eve of the game, the Argos announced that backup linebacker Chris Smith had been diagnosed with a hairline fracture in his leg, an injury that effectively ended his season after the team placed the Queen’s product on the nine-game injured list.

Andre Durie, who hurt his hip in last week’s win to Winnipeg, was dressed in sweat pants on the Argos sideline for Toronto’s must-win game against Hamilton.

During his media availability on Friday, Barker gave the impression Durie would play, referring to the running back-turned-slotback as a ‘‘warrior.’’

Obviously, Durie’s injury is much worse than what the Argos were willing to disclose.

Another blow came when starting left guard Cedric Gagne-Marcoux was deemed not healthy enough to play against the Ticats.

The tough-as-nails Gagne-Marcoux suffered what is believed to be a concussion two weeks ago in Regina and got his bell rung by the Blue Bombers following an interception by Steven Jyles.


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