RAY READY TO ROLL
TORONTO -- Ricky Ray will return to the Toronto Argonauts lineup at Rogers Centre tonight when the Argos take on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Ray missed Toronto's last three games with a knee injury, but he practised with the first team this week and proclaimed himself fit and ready to go following a light workout at the Argos practice facility in Mississauga on Thursday.
Ray was asked if he was concerned that his timing with his receivers might be off tonight after his absence. "I really don't know. Obviously not being in there and not throwing to guys in a game situation -- hopefully that will come back right away... "
The Argos were led by backup QB Jarious Jackson when they defeated the Bombers at Canad Inns Stadium on Sept. 29, the only game the Argos won during Ray's absence from the lineup.
Bombers head coach Tim Burke said Ray's return tonight will allow Argos head coach Scott Milanovich -- a former Montreal offensive co-ordinator -- to operate his offence from his comfort zone.
"I think they can run their offence a little more the way Scott would like it to be run, more like Montreal does," Burke explained, "whereas I think with Jarious they probably used more play-action and threw the ball down the field more, plays more similar to what (Jackson) was used to in B.C."
ROOKIE TANDEM COOKIN'
The production the Bombers have gotten out of their CFL rookie tandem of tailback Chad Simpson and wide receiver Chris Matthews puts the twosome in some very elite company.
CFL statistician Steve Daniel crunched the numbers this week and determined it has been 29 years since Winnipeg's leading rusher and leading receiver were each first-year players in the same season.
The last time that happened was 1983 and the two CFL rookies in question turned out to be a couple of Bombers legends -- running back Willard Reaves and receiver James Murphy. Reaves led the West Division that season with 898 rushing yards, while Murphy led the Bombers with 1,126 receiving yards.
Both Simpson and Matthews will almost certainly eclipse those totals this week. Simpson is fourth in the CFL with 867 rushing yards, while Matthews is third in the league with 1,090 receiving yards.
WRONG BRAND OF PINK
Bombers DB Jonathan Hefney is a little lighter in the wallet this week after he was fined by the CFL for wearing the wrong brand of pink shoe as part of the CFL's breast cancer awareness campaign last weekend.
CFL spokesman Jamie Dykstra explained Reebok invests signficant resources in manufacturing pink shoes and gloves for the annual promotion. Hefney wore a competitor's brand.
Dykstra did not disclose the amount of the fine, but one report had it at $500.