GAMEDAY PREVIEW: McCluter Debuts as Desperate Argonauts in Tough Against Powerhouse Stampeders

By: Jerred Bapty

Friday, September 28, 2018

CALGARY – At this point in the season, the unfortunate reality of the Toronto Argonauts missing the playoffs has almost come true. It’s not impossible right now, but they are heavily relying on both themselves to win all of their remaining games and at least one of three teams to lose all of theirs.

With tonight’s game against the league-best Calgary Stampeders, that’s a big ask.

The three aforementioned teams all hold a record that has produced 12 points, the BC Lions at 6-6 with 6 games remaining, and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Hamilton Tiger-Cats at 6-7 with 5 games left.

The Argos play both Hamilton and BC in the next two weeks. 

Nevertheless, Toronto has the chance to prevent Calgary from clinching the first playoff spot of the season, however unlikely that may be. 

Other than last year’s Grey Cup, the Argos haven’t beaten the Stampeders in the regular season since Week 13 of the 2013 season. Zach Collaros threw 330 yards for Toronto, while Kevin Glenn threw 2 interceptions for Calgary. 

With the forecasted 5-degree weather, and the earlier wet snowfall in Calgary, the Argos are certainly in for a tough night. 

Something to look forward to tonight is the debut of former Pro Bowl Running Back Dexter McCluster. The 30-year-old had been sidelined since his arrival in mid-July after suffering a hamstring injury during workouts.

McCluster was drafted 36thoverall by the Kansas City Chiefs in 2010 and saw action in 58 games over 4 seasons with the Chiefs. He accumulated 662 rushing yards, 1,500 receiving yards, 959 punt-return yards, 1,087 kick-return yards, and 9 touchdowns. 

McCluster spent 2 more productive years with the Tenessee Titans before seeing his playing time dwindle to just 6 games with the San Diego Chargers in 2016. He’s extremely excited to make his CFL debut and will back up James Wilder Jr tonight. 

Injury Report

Argos Linebacker Bear Woods has returned to the injured list. While the extent of the problem has gone undisclosed, Woods is expected to miss the next two games. 

Argos Kicker Zachary Medeiros will dress tonight after a clean MRI last weekend. He had been considered questionable after his light practice during the week, along with the signing of National Kicker Felix Menard-Briere. 

Stampeders Receiver Eric Rogers was ruled out of the lineup on Thursday to give him another week to recover from knee surgery. Calgary has decided to go with three RBs on the depth chart, Terry Williams, Don Jackson, and Romar Morris. One could be made inactive come game-time. 

Remembering Mike Labinjo

Expect the Stampeders faithful to have a tribute to the late Mike Labinjo. The 38-year-old suddenly passed away on Saturday and was an integral part of the 2008 Stampeders Grey Cup Championship team.

A Defensive Lineman, the Toronto native was drafted by Calgary in 2003 and spent 5 years trying to crack the NFL before returning home to Canada in 2007. He was released by the Stamps and retired in 2011. 

 

Let me know your thoughts! 

E-mail - jerred@barnburner.ca 

On Twitter - @CaptainBapty

Photo Credit: @CFL