Argos' Prefontaine may return against Als

Argos kicker Noel Prefontaine could return to the lineup as early as Sunday. (QMI Agency FILES)

Argos kicker Noel Prefontaine could return to the lineup as early as Sunday. (QMI Agency FILES)

FRANK ZICARELLI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:29 PM ET

Noel Prefontaine’s remarkable recovery from hip surgery just might be the shot in the arm the Argos have been searching at a time when wins have been elusive.

For reasons that require no clarification, Ricky Ray remains the most indispensable player in Double Blue, but the veteran Prefontaine assumes a role and responsibility that is only appreciated when he’s not around.

When last seen on the gridiron, the man known as Pre was attempting a field goal on the final play of the first half in Hamilton on July 14, a miss Chris Williams would return for a touchdown.

In the days that followed, the Argos revealed a pre-existing hip condition that forced Prefontaine to have surgery.

Fast forward and Prefontaine may suit up on Sunday against visiting Montreal with first place in the East on the line.

“I’m on the 46,’’ said Prefontaine. “I’m on deck, I guess you can say.”

Head coach Scott Milanovich says he’ll sleep on the decision to ultimately dress Prefontaine, who has been medically cleared to play.

“To say I’m 100% at this point would be a falsehood,’’ Prefontaine said. “Having said that, I think I can contribute and we’ll see what happens.”

Swayze Waters, who continues to nurse a sore left thumb, will continue to handle the field goal and kickoff duties.

“It’s less stressful,’’ said Prefontaine when asked to compare kicking and punting given his condition. “But obviously there’s still some stress there.”

When he began to feel better, Prefontaine spoke with head coach Scott Milanovich and special teams co-ordinator Mike O’Shea.

Prefontaine assured each that being part of the cover unit is just as important as kicking the football.

“There’s a good possibility he’ll be up tomorrow (Sunday),’’ said Milanovich of his former XFL teammate. “It’s a field position game. It’s not a playoff game, but it feels like one.

“You want to give yourself the best chance to win the game. Obviously, Pre’s a veteran, he’s been there, played in big games. If it comes down to a directional kick, I want to have that ability to go to him if I had to.”

RIGGS LOOKS TO STEP UP

Gerald Riggs Jr. understands he needs to step up his game.

If Chad Kackert is able to come back from a rib injury next week, Sunday will likely be Riggs’ last of the season, unless Kackert is reinjured.

“He needs to play a little better,” Milanovich said of Riggs, who fumbled the football on Toronto’s second possession last week against Saskatchewan.

When Kackert missed Toronto’s visit to B.C., Riggs filled in and played well, even though the Argos abandoned the run in the second quarter.

Blitz pickups are as important as yards from scrimmage, but it’s not only on Riggs’ shoulder to protect Jarious Jackson.

It all starts up front, but Riggs has to run the football efficiently to take the pressure off Jackson.

“We believe if he gives us that effort in B.C., we’ll be fine,” added Milanovich.

Riggs understands what’s at stake.

“We kind of wet the bed a little bit,’’ he said of last week’s loss. “We know the kind of team we are. We truly believe in ourselves and that’s not just lip service. We have a lot to play for and there’s a lot infront of us to accomplish.

“You want to start fast, that’s the name of the game. If we don’t, we have to keep plugging, executing and keep fighting.”

 


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