LIVE STREAM PPV: CFL – Toronto Argonauts @Montreal Alouettes, Aug. 11 @ 7:30p EDT (Aug. 11 @ 1:30a CEST)

MONTREAL — The Toronto Argonuats and Montreal Alouettes begin a crucial home-and-home series at Percival Molson Stadium on Friday night.

The Als only trail the Argos by two points for top spot in the East, setting up a showdown for first place in the division.

The Calgary Stampeders proved to be too much for the Argonauts last week as they fell 41-24 to last year’s Grey Cup finalists. Toronto’s defence could not take Bo Levi Mitchell off his game as the reigning MOP threw three majors in the victory. Marquay McDaniel was on the receiving end of two of those touchdown tosses.

S.J. Green led all receivers with 87 yards on six catches while Bear Woods racked up nine tackles including a quarterback sack.

A collective gasp was heard at BMO Field when quarterback Ricky Ray was hit while in passing motion during the third quarter of last week’s match. He was forced to the sidelines where he remained for the rest of the game.

There were initial reports that Ray could miss up to six weeks with a separated shoulder. To the relief of Argos faithful, Ray was only listed as day-to-day by the team and has been participating at practice this week.

However, he won’t start against the Alouettes.

“It’s day-to-day with Ricky,” Head Coach Marc Trestman told when asked about Ray’s status for the coming weeks. “I’m encouraged and optimistic by the medical reports and him working during the week and playing some catch, but we really don’t know and we won’t know until next week.”

Alouettes LB Brandon Dozier returning a fumble 20 yards for a TD against Calgary at Percival Molson Stadium July 14 The Canadian Press

Former Hamilton Tiger-Cat Jeff Matthews will get the start on Friday night.

The Argos made some moves earlier in the week, signing former first overall pick Linden Gaydosh and bringing back recently-released veteran Matt Black. Gaydosh was the top pick in the 2013 CFL Draft by the Ticats and was traded to the Riders last season. Black was released by the Argos just last week and has spent his entire nine-year CFL career with the Argos.

While the Argonauts will have to get by without their offensive leader in Ray, the CFL’s leading passer, Matthews will get help in his first start as an Argo with the return of  star receiver Armanti Edwards.

The Montreal Alouettes are coming off of their bye week with a bitter taste in their mouths after giving up a 12-point lead with less than two minutes to go against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers back in Week 6.

The Bombers pulled off a miraculous comeback to stun the Alouettes 41-40 in a game which Montreal appeared to be in complete control. Winnipeg pivot Matt Nichols manipulated the Als’ secondary for a short touchdown drive. The Bombers then successfully retrieved the ensuing onside kick and Andrew Harris’ second touchdown of the game sealed the win for the Bombers.

Montreal quarterback Darian Durrant threw for 348 yards with two touchdown passes and an interception in the loss while B.J. Cunningham led all receivers with 109 yards.

“It’s very disappointing,” Darian Durrant told after the game. “I think that we’re definitely getting there offensively, but we left some opportunities out there for sure… at the end of the day I think we played good offensively. We didn’t get the win.  This is the ultimate team game. I just don’t want to harp on the offence but we’re getting there.”

The Alouettes seemed to be riding high after defeating the Calgary Stampeders back in Week 4, but have since dropped their past two games. The Als have had a tough schedule thus far, with five of their first six matchups against West Division opponents.

Toronto Argonauts’ Martese Jackson (30) returns a Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ kick for the touchdown during the first half of CFL action in Winnipeg Thursday, July 13, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

While Montreal has yet to pick up a win on the road this season, the Als have made Percival Molson Stadium a tough stage for opponents, posting a 2-1 record on home turf.

This week, the Alouettes welcome back running back Tyrell Sutton, whose 295 yards were tops in the CFL through four games before being sidelined by injury.

The Als will, however, have a hole to plug at safety as Chris Ackie has been sidelined with an injury. Third round pick in 2017 Dondre Wright appears primed to make his first career start in the Canadian Football League.

By The Numbers

7 – Catches that Nik Lewis needs to pass Ben Cahoon for second all-time on the CFL receptions list.

15 – Straight field goal attempts made by Boris Bede. He leads the league at 94 per cent.

17 – Tackles Bear Woods has made in the past two games. He ranks second in the league with 45 tackles heading into Week 8.

119 – Career starts for Darian Durrant. He is 60-58-1 during that span.

The Skinny

The Argos’ trip to Montreal will be a homecoming of sorts for several key members of the organization.

Head coach Marc Trestman will make his first return to Montreal in nearly five years. Trestman served as the Als head coach from 2008-2012, leading the team to back-to-back Grey Cups in 2009 and 2010. He parted ways with the organization to take on a head coaching opportunity with the Chicago Bears.

General Manager Jim Popp was also a part of the Alouettes organization for 21 years. He parted ways with the team at the end of last year.

AFI, Yare Media and the CFL

American Football International is collaborating with Yare Media and the Canadian Football League to present 2017 CFL games live. This is more than a livestream. This is a stream of the top flight TSN network television broadcast.

If you can’t watch it live, each game is available for 48 hours after the original broadcast.

LIVE STREAM PPV: CFL – Toronto Argonauts @Montreal Alouettes, Aug. 11 @ 7:30p EDT (Aug. 11 @ 1:30a CEST)

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