Backup LB Jones turns punter for Argos in loss to Roughriders

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The Canadian Press
10/8/2012 10:07:52 PM
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TORONTO -- With Swayze Waters restricted to place-kicking because of a broken thumb, the Toronto Argonauts turned to backup linebacker Kyle Jones to handle punting duties on Monday.

The 26-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., got his first chance in the second quarter. He was standing on his own team's goal-line but managed to boom a 51-yarder.

Unfortunately for Toronto, Jones got to punt a lot more often than the team hoped or expected in a 36-10 loss to Saskatchewan. He finished with 12 punts, averaging 40 yards.

Not bad considering the last time he kicked was four years ago in Canadian university football as a member of the Bishop's Gaiters.

"I felt like I was out there on the golf course. You hit a nice one and one you just miss," Jones said of his kicking Monday. "All in all, it wasn't too bad."

Argos coach Scott Milanovich said Jones won the punting battle in practice this week over Canadian Anthony Alix and import Josh Jasper. It helped that he is Canadian given Toronto wasn't willing to go with two import kickers.

"It was awesome that the club gave me the opportunity and showed that faith in me to get out there and punt," said Jones. "I wish I could have had a few of them back but that's football. Not every play goes your way."

"I thought he did a great job," said Waters, who kicked with a cast on his left hand.

"He did a pretty good job for the most part," added Milanovich.

There was no immediate word on when Waters might be able to resume punting duties.

Waters suffered a neck strain last month, prompting the Argos to pluck former University of Florida kicker Eric Wilbur from the Orlando-area bar he was managing. The 27-year-old Florida native made 3-of-5 field goals, connecting from 16, 25 and 28 yards in a 45-31 win over Hamilton. He also averaged 48.5 yards a punt and 63.8 yards on kickoffs.

The Riders had their own kicking drama Monday after punter Chris Milo hurt his ankle making a tackle. Place-kicker Sandro Deangelis did double duty the rest of the game, averaging 44.3 yards a punt.

"When we brought him in I told Sandro, 'I want you to help tutor Milo in his kicking and I want Milo to tutor you in your punting,"' Saskatchewan coach Corey Chamblin said of his kickers.

"Those guys have been working hand in hand and we didn't miss a beat."

Deangelis was good on 5-of-6 field goal attempts.

Toronto Argonauts (Photo: CFL)

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(Photo: CFL)
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