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A career milestone will have to wait for A.J. Ouellette.

The rugged American running back won’t play Saturday night when the Toronto Argonauts play host to the Ottawa Redblacks at BMO Field. Ouellette, who needs 41 yards to reach the 1,000-yard plateau, will be a healthy scratch.

The move isn’t a surprise as Toronto, off to a club-record 13-2 start to the season, has already clinched first in the East Division. Ouellette was also a healthy scratch for the Argos’ 29-14 home win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Sept. 23.

First-year Argo Deonta McMahon will start at running back for Toronto. McMahon is also an American.

Offensive linemen Peter Nicastro and Dejon Allen along with linebacker Jordan Williams also won’t play for Toronto. Nicastro and Williams are both Canadians.

Chad Kelly will make a second straight start at quarterback for Toronto. He didn’t play in the Argos’ 31-21 road loss in Winnipeg on Sept. 29.

Kelly was named the CFL’s top-graded quarterback earlier this week for his play in Toronto’s 35-12 home victory over the Edmonton Elks. He finished 11-of-16 passing for 165 yards while adding a 14-yard run.

However, backups Cameron Dukes and Bryan Scott are both expected to also see some action against Ottawa.

Toronto looks to end the regular season with an unbeaten home record. The Argos are 8-0 thus far, with one of those wins coming in Halifax.

The defending Grey Cup champions are also 8-0 within the East Division.

Ottawa (4-12) has been eliminated from playoff contention, having lost two straight and nine-of-10 overall. The Redblacks are also 0-8 versus East Division competition and a CFL-worst 1-7 on the road.

Five of Ottawa’s last nine defeats have been by seven points or less.

American defensive lineman Lorenzo Mauldin IV, the CFL’s outstanding defensive player last year, will return to Ottawa’s lineup. He missed last week’s 29-3 loss in Montreal with a neck ailment.

Dustin Crum remains under centre for Ottawa after being a full participant in practice despite a calf injury. But defensive back Brandin Dandridge (hand) won’t play.

Argos sign extension with defensive co-ordinator Mace

Defensive co-ordinator Corey Mace has signed a contract extension with the Toronto Argonauts.

Mace is in his second season leading the Argonauts’ defence. Toronto tops the CFL in five defensive categories including sacks (54), interceptions (22) and turnovers (42).

“Corey is a leader, first and foremost,” said Argonauts head coach Ryan Dinwiddie. “He preaches accountability and is able to get the best out of his guys each and every day. He’s a great coach, a better person and we are thrilled to keep him in Toronto.”

The Argonauts also lead the league in opponent big plays allowed (20, seven fewer than second place) and lowest average opponent rush yards (79.6 per game). Toronto is second in average offensive points allowed (20.2 per game) and opponents yards/play (5.98) while ranking third in offensive touchdowns allowed (31).

Mace joined the Argonauts at the start of 2022 and has seen three of his players become East Division all-stars.

The native of Port Moody, B.C., also helped Toronto capture its 18th Grey Cup championship in November.

The three-time Grey Cup champion joined Toronto from Calgary, where he coached the defensive line from 2016-2021, winning a championship in 2018.

Before turning to coaching Mace played defensive line for the Stampeders from 2010-2015 where he would win his first Grey Cup in 2014. The University of Wyoming product was originally selected in the second round of the 2007 CFL draft by Winnipeg before signing with the NFL’s Buffalo Bills, where he played from 2007-2009.

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