NEWS
09/14/2016 14:33 EDT | Updated 09/15/2017 01:12 EDT

T.J. Health, Drew Willy don't have to wait long to see former teammates

T.J. Heath and Drew Willy won't have to wait long to see their former teammates.

Heath and Willy were key figures in the trade Sunday night between Toronto and Winnipeg. The Argos acquired Willy from the Bombers for Heath, a 2017 first-round draft pick and 2018 third-round selection.

The Argos (5-6) visit the Blue Bombers (7-4) on Saturday afternoon.

Unfortunately for Heath, he learned of the deal shortly after helping Toronto beat Hamilton 33-21 at BMO Field. He had two interceptions in that game to move into a tie with Winnipeg's Maurice Leggett for the CFL lead with five.

The Bombers' decision to move Willy wasn't nearly as surprising. He'd been relegated to backup quarterback behind Matt Nichols, who has helped the Blue Bombers win six straight.

While Heath and Willy will be in uniform for their new teams, just how much they'll play isn't clear. Winnipeg's defence has been nothing short of sensational in anchoring the club's current win streak.

On Aug. 12, the Bombers forced six turnovers — including five interceptions — in a 34-17 road win over Toronto. That was Winnipeg's third straight victory with Nichols under centre.

Nichols has thrown for 1,604 yards in his six starts — an average of 267  per game — but has surrendered just one interception. He's also completed 137-of-192 passes (71.4 per cent).

While Winnipeg sent Willy to Toronto, it also acquired veteran quarterback Kevin Glenn from Montreal.

Dan LeFevour will make a second straight start for Toronto in place of injured incumbent Ricky Ray (rib). LeFevour was 27-of-36 passing for 329 yards with a TD and two interceptions against Hamilton to snap the Argos' four-game losing streak.

Toronto also moved into a second-place tie with Hamilton in the East Division. However, the Ticats have won the season series 2-1 and therefore own the tie-breaker if the two clubs end the season tied.

While LeFevour will start, there's a chance Willy could face his former team. LeFevour started against Hamilton with just two practices under his belt while Willy will at least have the benefit of a full week studying Toronto's offence.

While the timing of the trade was brutal for Heath, he's overcome a lot worse in his life.

In 2010 while at Jacksonville State, Heath fell asleep briefly at the wheel and lost control of his vehicle. It flipped nine times.

While he suffered a broken jaw, doctors also initially thought Heath had broken his spine. Thankfully, he was later diagnosed with whiplash.

Pick — Winnipeg.

 

Montreal Alouettes versus Hamilton Tiger-Cats (Friday Night)

Montreal (3-8) made headlines this week for all the wrong reasons when tempers flared between quarterback Rakeem Cato and receivers Duron Carter and Kenny Stafford during practice. It's certainly been a frustrating season for the Alouettes, who've lose three straight, allowed a league-high 35 sacks and are second-last in scoring (232 points). Hamilton (5-6) is coming off a disappointing road loss in Toronto. Quarterback Zach Collaros has thrown for 1,810 yards and 15 TDs since returning to the Ticats' lineup but was sacked three times and intercepted twice against the Argos.

Pick — Hamilton.

 

Ottawa Redblacks versus Calgary Stampeders (Saturday night)

Calgary (9-1-1) is riding a 10-game unbeaten streak. Its tie, though, was a 26-26 decision in Ottawa on July 8. But the Stampeders are 5-0 at McMahon Stadium and are the league's lone unbeaten squad at home. They not only boast one of the league's top quarterbacks in Bo Levi Mitchell (3,575 yards, league-high 20 TDs) but also its leading rusher in Jerome Messam (704 yards). Linebacker Taylor Reed, released this week by Calgary, is expected to be in the lineup for Ottawa (5-4-1), which hasn't played since a 19-14 win over Montreal on Sept. 1.

Pick — Calgary.

 

Edmonton Eskimos versus Saskatchewan Roughriders (Sunday afternoon)

The Eskimos (5-6) are a tough team to figure out. They boast the CFL's leading passer in Mike Reilly (3,747 yards) and its top two receivers in Adarius Bowman (1,127 yards) and Derel Walker (1,124) yet they've lost two straight and stand fourth in the West Division. An Edmonton defence that anchored last year's Grey Cup run stands eighth in the nine-team CFL in points allowed (29.6). But Saskatchewan (1-10) is not only last overall in points allowed (33.1 per game) but also in points scored (18.6). The Riders have lost seven straight, are 0-7 within the West Division and just 1-4 at home.

Pick — Edmonton.

 

Last week: 3-1

Overall: 29-19-1.