Toronto Argonauts: Anthony Coombs to return in regular season finale

A helmet of the Toronto Argonauts. (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images)
A helmet of the Toronto Argonauts. (Photo by Dave Sandford/Getty Images) /

With first place in the East Division up for grab, the Toronto Argonauts will get a major boost on the offensive side of the ball with Anthony Coombs making his return to the lineup.

There is no denying that the Toronto Argonauts have had their fair share of injuries this season especially on the defensive side of the ball. Now they are getting players back at the right time as they look to lock up a spot in the Eastern final. One of those players looking to provide a boost versatile receiver/running back is Anthony Coombs.

The 25-year-old has been out of the lineup since suffering a broken collarbone that required surgery back in August. His ability to gain yards after contact in short yard plays adds another dynamic to the offence, one that the team missed during his absence.

At the time of the injury, Coombs was one of the Argos top offensive weapons as he was well on his way to establishing career highs in yards and receptions. Through nine games, the Winnipeg-native had 47 receptions for 426 yards, the most since the 2015 when he had 486 yards on 57 catches in 17 games. .

“It was devastating because I knew that I wasn’t going to be a part of the team,” said Coombs on the timing of his injury. “It was tough because I felt that we had something special, it was tough to be away from the team.”

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Luckily for the Argos, the emergence of James Wilder Jr. and the steady play of the receivers made it easier to deal with Coombs’ injury. Even though the offence continued to roll, it was tough for Coombs to stay patient.

“You have to wait for the bone to heal so really you can’t do much, sit around take it day-by-day,” said Coombs. “There is always something to focus on and it taught me to focus on what I can control.”

While being out of game action could bring upon some rust, Coombs was still able to run and keep his conditioning up and he felt good through two days of practice. Now he gets back into the lineup in a big time game with a lot at stake for the team.

“I feel like anytime you’re injured [that first game] is a big time game. I don’t know it helps easing into something , it definitely makes you more aware mentally aware that this is a big  moment and there is no time to be hesitant”

Argos prepares for a confident B.C. Lions team

When the Argos travel to Vancouver to take on the Lions, they expect a similar effort that saw them beat the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 36-27. It will be a good challenge for Toronto as they prepare for the playoffs.

Lions quarterback threw for 408 yards and four touchdowns albeit against a injury depleted Winnipeg defence but Chris Rainey, Bryan Burnham and Emmanuel Arceneaux all had 100-plus yard performances.

What makes B.C. a tough opponent? Head coach Marc Trestman says it is their belief that they can beat anyone.

“The team they are is the team they were last week…who believe in themselves and are highly confident ,” said Trestman when asked on what to prepare for.

The Argos know what is on the line for them as they head out West, the time change will make it a challenge but the coaching staff has put a plan in place to help them prepare for that.

“The coaching staff has done a good job of reminding us all week what’s at stake,” said quarterback Ricky Ray to the Toronto Star. “We all understand what’s at stake, and we’ve had a good week of practices. There’s a lot of energy directed at what we need to do this weekend.”

Next: Argonauts rally behind their fearless leader Ricky Ray

What they need to do this weekend is knock off a highly motivated Lions team that will miss the playoffs for the first time in 21-years. There will be players motivated to win jobs for next season which makes it a tough position for the Argos but one that can help get them ready for the playoffs.