Will Ricky Ray’s shoulder injury sink the Toronto Argonauts?

Frank Doyle | Updated Aug 29, 2013

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Just when it looked like it couldn’t get much better for Toronto Argonauts quarterback Ricky Ray it suddenly got much, much worse. Ray, in the middle of what could have been a Most Outstanding Player season, will now miss up to six weeks with a shoulder injury.

Ray tore his Teres Major muscle on the back of his shoulder in a 35-14 loss to the Calgary Stampeders last week and now leaves Zach Collaros as Toronto’s starting quarterback for Tuesday’s home game against the Montreal Alouettes. Sports Interaction has yet to release odds for the game, but it’s clear Collaros is a major step down. Through seven games Ray had thrown for 1,824 yards with 15 touchdowns and zero interceptions. With him leading the way, the Argos ranked No. 1 in passing yards and No. 3 in scoring offence (30.5). When Collaros came in for Ray against Calgary and completed 16 of 26 passes for 228 yards and an interception.

“I just have to do a better job of completing passes and being ready to go at all times,” Collaros told reporters after the Stamps loss. “That’s on me and I’ll do what I can to get better. There’s no excuse . . . it’s different than starting a game, obviously, but it’s my job, my role right now, and I have to do a better job.”

That’s true, but all isn’t lost with Collaros at quarterback. He’s completing 70 percent of his passes but he’s going to have to get off to a hot start. The Argos face the Als twice in two weeks before heading out on a three-game western road trip at Saskatchewan, Calgary and Edmonton before a home game against Hamilton. Realistically, the Argos could sweep the Als and beat the Eskimos before that always-tough matchup with the Tiger-Cats. So, if Toronto goes 3-3 and Ray returns for Week 16, that still puts the club at 8-6 with four games left in the regular season which is plenty of time to get Ray back in top form.

Toronto is still the class of the East Division and has solid value at +432 to win the Grey Cup and that number might balloon a bit after this injury. However, if the Argos can tread water until Ray gets back, watch out for them to make a good run.

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