Two Argos take personal time off as Jonathan Jones looks to seize departure opportunity

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The Argonauts head west to take on the Edmonton Elks on Saturday night, having not won a game at Commonwealth Stadium since 2013.

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Zach Collaros was pulling the trigger for the Boatmen in that game while Chris Jones, now in his second stint as Elks head coach, was Toronto’s defensive coordinator.
On the plus side, the Elks haven’t won a home game in three years.

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History aside, the Argos will travel to the Alberta capital without starting receiver Brandon Banks and starting right tackle Dejon Allen for personal reasons.

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Banks, who has appeared in every game this season, returned home after the death of a family member.

Allen, out this season with a knee injury, left the team to attend the birth of his child.

The good news for the Argos is that veteran receiver DaVaris Daniels will play after missing last Saturday’s win over British Columbia with a hip injury.

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As head coach Ryan Dinwiddie explained on Thursday, Daniels could have played against Leos but the decision was made to give the veteran an extra week to heal.

Allen’s spot along the line of scrimmage will be taken by Shane Richards.

Richards has already filled Allen’s shoes this season, but he’s also lined up at left tackle and inside the guard slot.

In his first season with the Argos, Banks left the team twice to deal with personal issues.

Defensively, Jonathan Jones will make his second start as linebacker for the Argos.
He made his starting debut against the Lions when he filled the void left by Wynton McManis, who injured his knee the previous week in a road loss to the Calgary Stampeders.

Jones played in a handful of regular season games, mostly on special teams, before dislocating his shoulder in Toronto’s home loss to Ottawa on July 31, the injury occurring on the final punt of the game. Redblacks. Jones was caught in a friendly shot when teammate Eli Mencer also played on the ball.

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Proper rehabilitation and rest have helped Jones regain his strength and stamina and he wears a support brace on his shoulder.

« There was nothing holding me back, » he said of his comeback last week. « It was great to get back into the rhythm of things, to get that physicality back.

“I thought I had done my job, but there is so much on the table for me. With that in the back of my head, I just had to trust myself, knowing that I’m out there and doing my best. I will go out, run and do my job. Really, it was about doing my job.

« I had some body aches, » he continued. “I have this twinge in my hip which is weird. I had this little bruise on my leg, but that’s normal. The most important thing is that we won. »

The Argos won by fielding a defense with two new linebackers in Jones and Shaq Richardson, who normally line up in the secondary, who also showed off a new look. In fact, the Argos’ defense lacked pillars at all three levels.

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« I definitely felt like we were on the same page the whole time, » Jones said. “Communication was key, being on our P’s and Q’s and playing to the best of our abilities was also key.

« Shout at the D line because I felt they were really big. They bailed us out a few times. I didn’t feel any hesitation, I didn’t feel there was no one wondering what what they were going to do. There was no deposit. Everyone came to play. »

It is now up to him to solidify his starting role at linebacker. He arrived at camp for the past three weeks after attending two NFL mini-camps.

« I’m not going to lie, » Jones began. « Things came to me quite quickly, quite simply, thank goodness. »

The Argos initially had Jones at center linebacker. But the pace of play surprised him.

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« We think he’s a good football player, » Dinwiddie said of Jones, who the coach and others call JJ.

« Is that Wynton? » Not yet. »

McManis, according to Dinwiddie, is doing better, but there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding his possible return.

Prior to his injury, McManis was the leading candidate to earn league defensive player honors. And of all the injuries the Argos suffered, the most notable involved McManis and running back Andrew Harris, who was also playing at a high level.

Harris tore his pec and underwent surgery in his hometown of Winnipeg. He is pushing to come back and can be seen at training running.

When he joined the Argos after his procedure, Harris made it clear the door was open for a comeback. But his injury opened the door for AJ Ouellette to take on the running back role.

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