Ricky Ray’s stint on the Argonauts injury list has finally come to an end as it was announced that the 32-year old veteran would make his return to the Argos’ starting lineup on Friday evening as Toronto hosts the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Rogers Centre.
Ray will see his first game action since suffering a knee injury early on in the Argonauts’ 31-10 loss to the Montreal Alouettes on September 23. The initial prognosis was a day-to-day injury and a target return date was not specified. Ray has seen limited participation in recent practices but assures he is ready for Friday’s tilt with the Bombers.
“I’m ready to go. It’s been a while since I’ve been out there and I’m just looking forward to getting back (in the action)”, said Ray following Argonauts’ practice on Thursday afternoon.
Ray has been the leader of one of the most inconsistent offences in the CFL in his first year as a member of the Double Blue. Ray currently ranks sixth in the Canadian Football League in passing with 3,371 yards passing along with twelve touchdowns, and ten interceptions.
The main beneficiary of Ray’s return will be slotback, Chad Owens who has recorded just eight receptions for 52 yards over the course of the past three games. Prior to Ray’s absence, Owens was leading the CFL in receiving and has since dropped to fourth amongst receivers with 1,077 yards on the season. The 2012 season has seen Owens set a career best in receptions, yardage, and touchdowns. Owens also recorded his third consecutive 3,000-yard season on September 29in Ray’s first game absent from the Argos’ starting lineup.
Jarious Jackson went 1-2 as the Argonauts’ starting quarterback in the absence of Ricky Ray. Jackson recorded 556 yards passing, three touchdowns, two interceptions, and one rushing touchdown in his three relief starts.
The Argonauts will also have running back, Chad Kackert re-inserted into the starting lineup for Friday’s contest against Winnipeg. Kackert has been absent from the Argonauts’ lineup for the past two games due to a nagging rib injury suffered in the Argos’ 29-10 victory against the Blue Bombers on September 29.
Cornerback, Ahmad Carroll will also likely be re-inserted into the Argos’ starting lineup after the release of fellow cornerback, T.J Williams. Carroll has not seen game action since the Argonauts’ 28-23 loss at the hands of the B.C Lions on September 15.
The “Kissing Bandit”, Adriano Belli has been added to the team’s active roster after just two practices back in a Double Blue uniform. It may not be long before we see the veteran back on the field competing against the best that the CFL has to offer.
– Daniele Franceschi –