Big changes for Boatmen ahead of Week 14 battle with Ottawa

The Toronto Argonauts will have some big additions to their lineup Saturday afternoon in Ottawa, but they’ll be missing some key pieces as well.

First, the additions. Canadian receiver Juwan Brescacin and defensive lineman Shane Ray headline the list of players checking back in for the East-leading Argos.

Brescacin hasn’t played since being carted off the field with a knee injury Week 2 against Winnipeg and has just two receptions on the season.

The 28-year-old Brescacin played four years in Calgary (2016-2019) and over an injury-shortened four-game 2019 season, caught 11 balls for 168 yards and three touchdowns.

The Mississauga native had his best season in 2018 when he hauled in 60 catches for 567 yards and three touchdowns while helping the Stamps win the Grey Cup. The six-foot-three, 222-pound pass-catcher has amassed 69 receptions, 1,046 yards, and six touchdowns in 44 career games.

Brescacin should provide a weapon for a Toronto passing attack that doesn’t have any receivers in the top league’s 10 receiving yards list.

Ray is coming off his second stint on the injured list this season. First, the American DL missed time with a finger injury. Then, after a one-game comeback in Week 10, found himself there again with a hamstring problem.

The six-foot-three, 245-pound pass-rusher played four seasons with the Denver Broncos (2015-18), recording 94 tackles, 14 sacks, and two forced fumbles as he fought through injuries.

Ray should help out the Boatmen’s defence, but the stop unit takes a hit with Dexter McCoil Sr. missing this game.

This will be the first game the DB will miss this season as he deals with an elbow injury.

The Tulsa product has 60 tackles, two sacks, and two interceptions in his first year in Double Blue.

The six-foot-four, 220-pound defensive star was the CFL’s Most Outstanding Rookie in 2014 and a CFL all-star after posting 63 defensive tackles, 10 special teams tackles, four sacks, two touchdowns, and tying for the league lead with six interceptions in 18 games for Edmonton.

Toronto is also missing a piece upfront with Canadian OL Peter Nicastro missing this game with a knee injury.

The former Calgary Dino has played all 11 games in his freshman year as part of a rebuilt Argos offensive line.

The six-foot-two, 305-pound Nicastro played three seasons at the University of Calgary (2017-2019) and was named a Canada West Conference All-Star at guard in 2019, helping the Dinos win the Vanier Cup that same season. The Calgary native played 20 games in his U Sports career at Calgary, including all eight regular-season games in each of his last two seasons with the Dinos.

Toronto (7-4) will look to stay in first in the East as they play Ottawa (2-10) Saturday afternoon.

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