Edmonton Elks (2-5) vs. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (7-1)
Friday, October 8th at 5:30 pm MST at IG Field
The Edmonton Elks travel to Winnipeg in week 10 for a difficult matchup against the Blue Bombers. Every remaining game is a must-win for the Elks, who have struggled throughout the season and currently sit in last place of the entire league. The Bombers are at the complete opposite end of the spectrum, sitting at the top of the standings as the league’s best.
Winnipeg won the first matchup between these teams this year with a final score of 37-22. However, starting quarterback for the Elks, Trevor Harris missed the game due to a neck injury, and former XFL Tampa Bay Viper Taylor Cornelius started in his place. The return of Trevor Harris should help the Elks some, but it will still be a tall task as the Blue Bombers are currently the team to beat.
The Elks are coming off a rough loss to the Ottawa Redblacks and now sit with a 2-5 record at the bottom of the West Division and entire CFL. The team has plenty of talent, and some of the stats definitely show it, but finding ways to get everyone involved and closing out games has been a struggle.
Despite their struggles, Edmonton is currently 2nd in the CFL in yards per game (403.9) while also leading the league in the fewest yards allowed per game (303.7). Running back James Wilder Jr is 2nd in the league in rushing yards (588), and starting quarterback Trevor Harris is 5th in the league in passing yards (1,481) despite missing the last 2 games (3 weeks due to a bye) with a neck injury.
Harris is set to make his return in Friday’s game in Winnipeg, but with how they’ve been playing lately, it will still take a near-perfect game from the Elks to beat the league’s best Blue Bombers. It’s something not entirely out of the question with all the talent on Edmonton’s roster, but it’s probably not to be expected based on their play so far this season.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Without question, the Blue Bombers have been the CFL’s best team through the first half of the season and currently sit at the top of the league standings with a record of 7-1. In recent weeks, Winnipeg has dominated their opponents, winning each of their last 4 games by at least 15 points, including a 37-22 win over the Elks in Edmonton in Week 7.
The Bombers have an absolutely loaded roster on both sides of the ball. Quarterback Zach Collaros currently leads the league in passing yards (2,148) and is 2nd in passing touchdowns (12), while quarterback Sean McGuire leads the league in rushing touchdowns (7). Wide receiver Kenny Lawler leads the league in receiving yards (703) and is tied for 2nd in receiving touchdowns (4). However, Lawler will miss Friday’s game after being suspended following his arrest for operating a motor vehicle while impaired early in the morning of Monday, October 4th.
On the defensive side of the ball, defensive linemen Jackson Jeffcoat and Willie Jefferson have been terrorizing offenses. Jeffcoat leads the league in forced fumbles (4) with Jefferson right behind him (3), and both are tied for the 2nd most sacks in the league (6). Additionally, cornerback Deatrick Nichols is tied as the league leader in interceptions (3).
While the Bombers are the easy favorite to win this matchup, a talented Elks roster with their starting quarterback returning from injury should not be underestimated, especially with Winnipeg’s leading receiver out for the game.
- Tibo Debaillie – DL – Achilles – Out
- Alain Pae – DL – Hamstring – Out
- De’Ondre Wesley – OL – Shoulder – Out
Winnipeg Blue Bombers
- Andrew Harris – RB – Calf – Questionable
- Mike Miller – FB – Hip – Questionable
- Drew Wolitarsky – WR – Knee – Questionable
- Geoff Gray – OL – NIR – Questionable
- Pat Neufeld – OL – Shoulder – Questionable
- Kevin Brown – LB – Shoulder – Out
- Willie Jefferson – DL – Ankle – Questionable
- Jackson Jeffcoat – DL – Hip – Questionable
- Jonathan Kongbo – DL – Illness – Questionable
- Noah Hallett – DB – Knee – Out
- Sergio Schinffino-Perez – DB – Hip – Out