TORONTO — James Franklin makes his return to the starting lineup for the Argos, Mike Reilly is hoping to get back on track for the Eskimos while the Stampeders look to overcome more absences at receiver, as Week 18 arrives in the Canadian Football League.
It all kicks off with some Friday Night football rivalry action as Hamilton visits Toronto for the third and final time this season. The Ticats have clinched a playoff berth, but are eyeing a division title and a playoff bye as they sit just a game back of the division-leading REDBLACKS. The Argonauts hand the ball over to Franklin to see if they can end their six-game slide. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.
The race to the playoffs continues on Saturday with a big triple-header. First is a prairie showdown as the Roughriders visit the Blue Bombers at Investors Group Field. Saskatchewan, fresh off a win over Edmonton, will be looking for a victory to push for a home playoff date. Winnipeg, meanwhile, will try to use home field advantage to ride the high off a season-defining overtime win in Ottawa. The game gets under way at 2:00 p.m. ET.
Saturday’s action continues as Edmonton fights for its playoff life against the leaders in the East Division, Ottawa REDBLACKS. Both teams will be hungry for a win as they suffered close losses in Week 17; Edmonton has the advantage at Commonwealth Field, where its record is 5-2. Kickoff is at 5:00 p.m. ET.
Closing out the weekend is another crucial divisional matchup, this time in Calgary where the BC Lions come to town. The Stampeders are searching for the chance to host their third straight Western Final, while BC is in the thick of the competition for a crossover playoff spot after winning four of its last five games. The showdown begins at 8:00 p.m. ET.
**Hamilton Tiger-Cats vs. Toronto Argonauts will be the live mic game this week**
If Bighill were to reach the 100-plus tackle mark it would be his fourth season with 100-plus tackles. Only two players have registered 100-plus tackles in a season four or more times: Willie Pless (7) and Barrin Simpson (4).
If he keeps his pace, Singleton will have 309 tackles in his first three seasons which would be the most tackles by any player in their first three seasons in the CFL. Barrin Simpson holds the record for most defensive tackles in his first three seasons with 299. Singleton currently has 282 in three years.
If Singleton reaches his pace of 121, he would tie Solomon Elimimian’s as the only player with back-to-back seasons with 120-plus tackles.
For Muamba and Sherritt, if they reached 100 tackles it will be their second time in their career doing so.
The race for Special Teams Tackle (STT) leader is wide open. There are eight players within two tackles for the CFL lead which is currently held by Nigel Romick with 18.
Mike Miller, who has 17 STT this season, now has 155 for his career which is good enough for 12th all-time.
Calgary has clinched a 12-win season for a seventh straight year, setting a CFL record. No other team has won 12-plus games more than five times in a row. Calgary’s record in those seven years is 95-25-2 (.787). Winnipeg is the only other team with five in a row, from 1957-1961.
Winnipeg is on a season-high three-game win streak. In those games they have led by at least 15 points each time, with two wire-to-wire victories. They have scored at least three offensive touchdowns in three of their last four games. By contrast, Edmonton has not scored an offensive touchdown in their last two games, a first for them in the last seven years.
Last week the Riders increased their return touchdowns to 13 following Willie Jefferson’s 49-yard interception return. The team record for most return TDs in a season is 15, set by the BC Lions in 1987.
BC started the season 3-6; in the second half of the season they are 4-1 and at home are 6-1 compared 1-6 on the road. They have won five more home games than road games, one off the season record.
The Argonauts became the first team since the 2005 Edmonton Eskimos to win the Grey Cup and miss the playoffs the following year. Since 1958 it has occurred nine times.
Since Armanti Edwards joined the league, he has a catch in every game (35).
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