Injured linebacker Wynton McManis with Argos for Grey Cup game

REGINA — He won't play due to a torn biceps but linebacker Wynton McManis will be on the Toronto Argonauts' sideline in the Grey Cup game Sunday.

The six-foot-one, 225-pound McManis suffered the injury in Toronto's 34-27 East Division final win last weekend against the Montreal Alouettes. Argos' head coach Ryan Dinwiddie was hopeful this week McManis might play against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers but he was listed as being out for the Grey Cup game.

"We brought all of our guys with us," Dinwiddie said Sunday in his pre-game news conference. "Wynton has been there and been providing leadership.

"It's just unfortunate he's not going to be able to get on the field with us."

McManis had a team-high 88 tackles this season despite missing Toronto's final four regular-season games. He returned in time for the division final.

Dinwiddie said McManis will have to undergo surgery.

"We want to get it done as soon as possible," he said. "Who's the surgeon going to be? How are we going to approach that?

"That's for Monday."

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PRE-GAME RITUALS: Dinwiddie admits he's somewhat superstitious but wouldn't be taking any good-luck charms on to the field Sunday.

"I guess I am a little superstitious but nothing today," he said.

Dinwiddie, who also serves as Toronto's offensive coordinator, said he'll spend time before the opening kickoff going through the Argos' playcall list.

"I like to visualize and listen to a few songs and kind of enjoy the moment and understand what's at stake," he said. "It's our last football game as a team so it's going to be emotional, win or lose."

And while Dinwiddie will have a pre-game speech, he's confident his team will be locked in well before that.

"I think those guys understand where we're at," he said. "If you use words now to get guys motivated it's too late."

Winnipeg head coach Mike O'Shea said he won't have a specific pre-game speech for his team, agreeing with Dinwiddie that if a player needs inspiration now they're in trouble.

But Dinwiddie admitted he did have some words of wisdom for Argos quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson.

"I just told Mac, 'Let it go man. Just go play carefree,'" Dinwiddie said. "Don't be careless with the football. We've got to take care of the football, we can't have turnovers on offence.

"They're going to have some wrinkles but I don't think Mac needs to stress and worry too much about the end result of this game. Just go out there and play football and have fun doing it and let's see what it's going to be at the end of 60 minutes."

And Dinwiddie challenged his defence after Montreal quarterback Trevor Harris threw for 362 yards and a TD in Toronto's 34-27 East Division final win over the Alouettes last weekend.

"I think they (Argos defence) have carried us for the most part of the season," he said. "I challenged them (Saturday night) that Trevor Harris did get after you guys a bit.

"Our secondary is the focal point of our defence getting interceptions, getting turnovers and stuff like that. They know the challenge is out there, now it's up to them to accept it."

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PRE-GAME WALK: His team posted a CFL-best 15-3 regular-season record and is chasing a third straight Grey Cup so Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Mike O'Shea isn't messing with a winning formula.

Like he does before every game, O'Shea walked to Mosaic Stadium from the Bombers hotel Sunday.

"Stick with what got you here," he said. "It's nice, get some fresh air."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 20, 2022.

The Canadian Press