For the Edmonton Elks (0-3), it will be another attempt to win their first game of the 2023 CFL season. The Ottawa REDBLACKS (0-2) similarly enter week 4 with the same issues. Both respected clubs have been offensively challenged during the 2023 CFL season thus far.
Date/Location: Friday, June 30th, 2023 / TD Bank Stadium / Ottawa, Ontario
Kickoff Time: 7:30pm EST
Channel: TSN / TSN+
The current weather forecast indicates a high of 23 Degrees Celsius and will feel like 27 Degrees Celsius.
There is also a risk of thunderstorms during the afternoon which can transition to a smoke advisory during the evening from the ongoing wildfires in Ottawa, Quebec, and Eastern Canada.
Wind Gust: 15 Kilometers per hour.
Percentage of Precipitation: 30%
Spread: Ottawa REDBLACKS -3.5 (-102), Edmonton Elks +3.5 (-112)
Moneyline: Ottawa REDBLACKS -165, Edmonton Elks +139
Over / Under: Over 42.5 (-106) / Under 42.5 (-108)
Week 4 Edmonton Elks Depth Chart
Edmonton Elks fans are not going to enjoy this to a certain extent. After releasing quarterback Kai Locksley on June 26th, 2023, many thought that Tre Ford would be bumped up on the depth chart. This is not the case. He remains again as a healthy scratch. The Edmonton Elks soon after the release of Kai Locksley, signed quarterback Khalil Tate on June 27th, 2023 as a replacement. Khalil Tate had a brief stint this season in training camp in which he was later released. With that said, the Elks will be slotting in Jarret Doege as their starting quarterback. He will be backed up by Taylor Cornelius at QB2, followed by Khalil Tate at QB3.
After having a successful training camp and looking good in the preseason, wide receiver Maurice Ffrench gets his first start. He will start as a slotback on the right side. Dillion Mitchell will move to the left side and take the wide receiver role in the absence of Eugene Lewis.
Louchelz Purifoy will be slotted in as the SAM linebacker. Last week he was very effective vs the Toronto Argonauts at the safety position in which he was a key figure on the defence contributing to two interceptions with one being a pick-six.
Ottawa REDBLACKS: The Ottawa REDBLACKS announced the following names as officially out for their week 4 game vs the Edmonton Elks:
Jeremiah Masoli, QB
Anthony Gosselin, FB
Siaosi Mariner, WR
Sherrod Baltimore, DB
DeVonte Dedmon, WR
Devonte Williams, RB
Cariel Brooks, DB
Chizi Umunakwe, LB
Edmonton Elks: The Edmonton Elks unveiled their list of players who are officially out vs the Ottawa REDBLACKS:
Luke Burton-Krahn, LB
Andrew Garnett, OL
Tanner Green, FB
Unfortunately for the Edmonton Elks, their big splash signing during the 2023 CFL free agency in Eugene Lewis is at the time, on the six-game injury list. This is a big blow to the Elks’ offence as he will be missed for his offensive talents as a go-to target when needed. Only Andrew Garnett is currently on a one-game injury list, while all others are on a six-game injury list for the Edmonton Elks.
Keys to the Game
After shuffling three quarterbacks last week vs the Toronto Argonauts, it will be up to Jarret Doege to get this offence going in the right direction. If there is inconsistency, it will not be surprising at all to see all three quarterbacks involved in this game. Coach Chris Jones has been known to be unpredictable with his roster in the past. And that is why last week was no different. There are still a lot of unanswered questions as to last week when Taylor Cornelius was pulled late in the 3rd quarter after going 14 for 18 in pass completions for 135 yards, and a lone touchdown. Although it was later in the game, Jarret Doege would come into relief going 9 for 11 in pass attempts, for 163 yards, 2 touchdowns, and a lone interception. At some point this season, someone at quarterback has got to take control in administering the offence for the Edmonton Elks. The more the lack of offensive production is displayed, it will be a revolving door at quarterback for the 2023 season. With the season close at its quarter mark in games played, the Edmonton Elks have got to take advantage of this. The REDBLACKS as a team, have similar issues at quarterback, along with the lack of offensive production that has been on display in the last two seasons.
Players to Watch
Lorenzo Mauldin V: He is without a doubt one of the best in the CFL. He has all the tools on what to look for in a defensive lineman. He has the speed, strength, skill, and vision of being a staple pass-rusher. He will be hard to handle at the line of scrimmage as he has a way of being in the backfield on just about any play. The left side of the Elks’ offensive line will be busy. It will be up to LT Martez Ivey, and LG David Foucault to be on the ball as much as possible in protecting the blindside.
Frankie Griffin: Staying on the defensive side of the ball, as the REDBLACKS lack offence; Frankie Griffin has been a great addition this season. He leads the team with 11 tackles thus far and has made some great plays in stopping the running game. Look for Frankie Griffin to continue this trend as he is lined up behind Lorenzo Mauldin attacking the left side of the offensive line.
Kevin Brown: If the passing game becomes an issue in moving the chains, Kevin Brown will have to absorb the load in getting the offence moving in the right direction. He will have to be important vs a stingy Ottawa defence that has been the only good story for the REDBLACKS. If he can contribute to close to 100 yards rushing, along with 50 or more yards in receiving, the Elks’ will be in a good position in obtaining a win in Ottawa.
Louchelz Purifoy: He has shown that he is an asset when he was picked up during free agency. He was a player that was the spark of the defence when in the first half vs the Toronto Argonauts as they were shellshocked. He will be instrumental in weathering the storm in stopping the run vs Ottawa.
Since we have two winless teams squaring off with issues scoring points by the offence, expect a few mistakes, and a medium-scoring game. Both teams do have key injuries going into this game. With all due respect to Ottawa, the Elks will win the slight advantage of the talent on the offence with their receivers and running backs.
Edmonton Elks: 24
Ottawa REDBLACKS: 19
There is a slight advantage at quarterback going toward Edmonton with the lesser of the two evils. With Jeremiah Masoli still out as Ottawa’s QB, and the struggles with QB Nick Arbuckle, the REDBLACKS will be starting Tyrie Adams at QB. He has work to do on his passing game. But, he has a great ability in running the ball. The Edmonton defence will have to be keen on shutting down the running lanes as much as possible.
Overall it will be where the defence and special teams play a big role in this game. Expect both teams to play with the short field also on a few occasions. It will come down to clock management in the running game to slow down the pace when needed to secure a victory.
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