It couldn’t have gone worse for the Edmonton Elks last Friday night in Winnipeg and now the Elks look to reverse their fortunes against the Blue Bombers Friday night on The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium.
The Elks are on a four-game losing streak and sit last in the West Division with a 2-6 record.
In an effort to turn their fortunes around and stay in the playoff hunt, head coach Jaime Elizondo is changing starting quarterbacks. He will go with rookie Taylor Cornelius in favour of 10-year veteran Trevor Harris on Friday.
Cornelius will start in his third game of the season and has recorded 624 passing yards, recording three touchdown passes and six interceptions. Dakota Prukop will serve as the backup quarterback.
Elizondo knows this home game is important and stressed the team needs the win.
“One of the things that gets forgotten here is, we haven’t won at home,” Elizondo said. “That’s one of the things we want to do for our fans, for our team and for our organization is get a win at home and get back on track.
“We have a number of games left and this thing is still wide open, so we have to come out and get a win.”
This will be the third meeting of the season between the Bombers and Elks. The Bombers are looking to sweep the season-series after last week’s win in Winnipeg.
Last week at IG Field in Winnipeg, the Elks lost 30-3 to the Bombers. Thanks to some solid play by the Elks defence, it was only an 11-3 deficit at halftime until the Bombers pulled away in the fourth quarter to improve to a CFL-best 8-1 record.
The Elks struggled on offence, recording their lowest net yardage total of the season with 159 yards and produced a season-low 11 first downs. The Elks turned the ball over five times in the second half, contributing to their league-worst minus-16 turnover ratio. The Bombers have the best turnover ratio in the league at plus-17.
The Bombers won the first meeting 37-22 in Edmonton back on Sept. 18.
The Elks have placed offensive lineman SirVincent Rogers on the six-game injured list with a back injury. Justin Renfrow will come back on the roster and start at right tackle after missing the last three games.
Long snapper Chad Rempel was placed on the six-game injured list earlier this week with a knee injury. The Elks signed 11-year CFL veteran Martin Bedard to handle the long-snapping duties.
Defensive back Scott Hutter will play his first game since Week 1 following a knee injury, and offensive lineman Steven Nielsen returns to the active roster.
Coming off the roster is safety Eric Blake, who will land on the practice roster for the first time this season. Linebacker Maxime Royuer has been placed on the one-game injured list with a toe injury.
The following are the projected offensive and defensive starters for the Elks:
Quarterback: Taylor Cornelius
Running back: James Wilder Jr. (fullback: James Tuck)
Offensive line: Kyle Saxelid, Tomas Jack-Kurdyla, David Beard, Matt O’Donnell, Justin Renfrow
Receivers: Derel Walker, Greg Ellingson, Shai Ross, Mike Jones, Tevaun Smith
Defensive line: Thomas Costigan, Jake Ceresna, Mike Moore, Kwaku Boateng
Linebackers: Nyles Morgan, Kieshawn Bierria, Derrick Moncrief
Defensive backs: Jonathon Mincy, Trumaine Washington, Jordan Hoover, Aaron Grymes, Jonathon Rose
You can hear live coverage of Friday’s game between Elks and Bombers on 630 CHED starting with Countdown to Kickoff 5:30 p.m.
The opening kickoff on The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium will be at 7 p.m. with Morley Scott and Dave Campbell calling all of the live action. Plus, hear analysis from two-time Grey Cup Champion and former Edmonton offensive lineman Blake Dermott.
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