Elks visit Lions on Saturday to begin an important stretch of games – Edmonton

The Edmonton Elks started the season 0-3, since then the Elks are 2-2. Their overall record is not stellar, sitting with a 2-5 mark and in last place in the West Division.

The Elks begin a critical game streak on Saturday night when they visit the BC Lions at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver.

A win would put the Elks two behind the fourth-place Saskatchewan Roughriders (4-4) in the West, an important spot since the Riders are currently in a crossover position in the East Division.

The Elks take on the Riders next week, followed by a home-and-away game against the Ottawa Redblacks (who sit bottom of the CFL’s overall standings.)

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A healthier version of the Elks will face the Lions again on Saturday

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Chris Jones agrees it’s a long streak for his team, and it starts with a much better showing against the Lions compared to their Week 1 outing.

“We’re 2-5 down so of course we have to show up and play great football,” Jones said. “We have to take it one game at a time and you don’t want to look too far down the road. Let’s go to BC and play better football than we did last time and face our asses and win a football game.

How did that release go in week 1, you ask? If you have already forgotten it, no one will blame you. The Elks were outplayed by the Lions in a 59-15 loss. The Elks set a new franchise record for most runs allowed in a regular season game.

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Injuries outside of training camp and early in the season plagued the Elks.

Seventy-five players have played at least one game this season, the other eight CFL teams have an average of 59 players.


The Elks will receive more reinforcements for Saturday’s game. Receiver Derel Walker (hip/groin) and receiver/quarterback Kai Locksley (hamstring) will return to the lineup after missing the game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers two weeks ago. Walker and Locksley will look to give quarterback Taylor Cornelius more options.

Over the past two games, Kenny Lawler has been targeted 24 times and caught 14 receptions for 198 yards and a touchdown. Lawler caught three passes of 20 or more yards and had six conversion seconds.

Defensive tackle Jake Ceresna (shoulder) and defensive back Nafees Lyon (shoulder) will also be back for the Elks on Saturday, as both are off the team’s six-game injured list. Linebacker Jordan Reaves (broken finger) and fullback Tanner Green (core muscle injury) will also be back in the lineup.

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Kicker Jon Ryan will make his Elks debut after being traded to Edmonton from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats during the bye week. Ryan is a former Super Bowl winner with the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL.

The Elks will be tasked with trying to slow BC Lions quarterback Nathan Rourke, who is second in the CFL in passing yards (1,941) and leads the league in touchdown passes with 16. In his last two outings against the Elks, Rourke passed for 641 yards and threw four touchdown passes and five rushing touchdowns.

The Elks are coming off their best defensive performance of the season in a 24-10 loss to the Bombers, the Elks giving up just 272 net yards.

Here are the planned offensive and defensive entries for the Elks:

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Offense

Quarterback: Taylor Cornelius

Attacking half: Ante Milanovich-Litre (full-back: Tanner Green)

Offensive line: Tony Washington, David Foucault, David Beard, Mark Korte, Martez Ivey

Receivers: Hakeem Butler, Kenny Lawler, Emmanuel Arceneaux, Caleb Holley, Chris Osei-Kusi

Defense

Defensive line: Thomas Costigan, Makana Henry, Jake Ceresna, Keisean Lucier-Sud

Linebackers: Adam Conner, Nyles Morgan, Treston Decoud

Defensive backs: Malik Sonnier, Ed Gainey, Duron Carter, Nafees Lyon, Raphael Leonard

You can hear live coverage of Saturday’s game between the Elks and Lions on 630 CHED beginning with Countdown to Kickoff with Brenden Escott at 6:30 p.m. at 8 p.m., with Morley Scott and Dave Campbell. with analysis from former Edmonton football offensive lineman and two-time Gray Cup champion Blake Dermott.

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