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Week 7:  Edmonton Elks vs. Winnipeg Blue Bombers Preview

The Edmonton Elks enter Week 7 at home to host the back-to-back Grey Cup Champions the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Commonwealth Stadium.  The Edmonton Elks are riding on a high after an impressive 32-31 comeback victory in Week 6 in Montreal vs the Alouettes.  However, key figures will be out for the upcoming Week 7 tilt with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers as a result of injuries that were sustained in Montreal, along with key players still on a 6-game injured list.

Transactions Came Early This Week

The Edmonton Elks signed Chilliwack, BC native, and former Hamilton Tiger-Cats running back Maleek Irons on Sunday, July 17th, 2022.  In addition, Week 6 starter Sherman Badie was placed on the practice squad and will be replaced by Maleek Irons as the starting running back.

With James Wilder Jr still out halfway through his estimated 6-game injury, Edmonton added an experienced running back in Maleek Irons who played a utility player role with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats since being drafted in 2019.

The Edmonton Elks also acquired quarterback Ben Holmes in a signing this week.  Ben Holmes played his collegiate football at Tarleton State where he completed his collegiate career with an impressive 23-2 record in NCAA Division II.  Ben Holmes recently was part of the Montreal Alouettes practice squad prior to being signed by the Edmonton Elks.

Defensive back Jalen Collins was been released by the Edmonton Elks.  Collins did show some inconsistencies since coming to Edmonton via a trade with Toronto this past June.  It was most likely the reason for his release as he did get beat on deep ball coverage a few times this season thus far since coming to Edmonton.

Edmonton Will Have Their Hands Full in Week 7

There is no secret that the Week 7 game vs the Winnipeg Blue Bombers is the toughest test Edmonton will face so far this season.  Winnipeg has played flawless football this season.  They are a team that never panics no matter what the circumstances are at any given time.  They are a team that is well coached, and execute well on all 3 phases of the game.

A huge blow to the Edmonton offense will be having to play without utility player in quarterback and slot back Kai Locksley.  He might not have all the flashy numbers that any wide receiver and or a slot black has in the league.  But he has been a clutch player for the Edmonton offense especially earlier on in the season where he came up with big plays to either extend drives which lead to a combination of field goals and or touchdowns.

Taylor Cornelius will be starting his 2nd game in a row at quarterback.  Taylor Cornelius did look good last week in Montreal and played like a veteran when the game mattered most.  He will be followed by Mike Beaudry as QB 2, followed by newly acquired QB Ben Holmes who will be QB 3 on the depth chart.

Veteran SB / WR Derel Walker will be out this week nursing a hip/groin injury and did not practice all week.  He is currently listed on the 1-game injury list.  He will be replaced by Hakeem Butler.

Week 7 Edmonton Elks Depth Chart for Friday July 22nd 2022 vs Winnipeg
Week 7 Edmonton Elks Numerical Order and Injury List vs Winnipeg on Friday July 22nd 2022
Player NamePositionInjuryMONTUEWEDGame Status
Tobi AntighaLBHealthy ScratchFullFullFull
Duron CarterDBAnkleFullFullFull
Jake CeresnaDLShoulderLimitedLimitedLimitedOut
Nick CoeDLHamstringDNPDNPDNPOut
Tre FordQBShoulderDNPDNPDNPOut
Caleb HolleyWRHealthy ScratchFullFullFull
Tomas Jack-KurdylaOLHealthy ScratchFullFullFull
Kai LocksleyQBHamstringDNPDNPDNPOut
Nafees LyonDBShoulderDNPDNPDNPOut
Nyles MorganLBHip/GroinFullFullFull
Jordan ReavesDLHandLimitedLimitedLimitedOut
Derel WalkerWRHip/GroinDNPDNPDNPOut
Tony WashingtonOLKneeFullFullFull
Week 7 Edmonton Elks Injury List

Player NamePositionInjuryMONTUEWEDGame Status
Mike MillerFBAnkle –DNPDNPQuestionable
Johnny AugustineRBAnkle –DNPFullQuestionable
Patrick NeufeldOLHip –DNPFullQuestionable
Stanley BryantOLNot Injury Related –DNPFullQuestionable
Greg EllingsonWRHip –DNPLimitedQuestionable
Jackson JeffcoatDLHip – –LimitedQuestionable
Week 7 Winnipeg Blue Bombers Injury List

The one thing that will effect Edmonton the most going into Week 7, are the injuries on the defensive side of the ball. With a combination of short and long term injuries, Edmonton will be without DL Jake Ceresna, DL Nick Coe, DB Lyon Nafees, DL Jordan Reaves, and LB Tre Watson. For a team that has got better with their defense, it will be a challenging task for the defense which does field a depleted unit. To make matters worse, Aaron Grymes, who was listed on the 6-game injured list since opening day, has still yet to be cleared to play.

Keys to the Game

For Edmonton to have a successful game vs Winnipeg, they will have to keep up with the pace of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Although both wins thus far have been come from behind wins, you cannot take a risk with an experienced Winnipeg team that does not give up leads too often.

The Winnipeg offensive line being anchored by Stanley Bryant is always a tough task in trying to sustain pressure on Zach Collaros. Can the Edmonton secondary bye time in trying to create a coverage sack?

Can the defense keep up with a well-organized receiving unit in covering or winning the on on one battles with Greg Ellingson (questionable for week 7), Nik Demski, Drew, Rasheed Bailey, Drew Wolitarsky, and Janarion Grant to name a few?

The beauty of football is that any team can win at any given time regardless of the team records. For Edmonton fans, there is no doubt that an upset vs Winnipeg will be huge. Add in a combination of no expectations, along with an injured Edmonton squad would show a lot of heart and character if they are able to pull of the upset.

Stay in tune with CFL News Hub for the 2022 season.

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Dino Sepe Reporter
Dino Sepe has been an avid sports fan since he was nine years old. He has read multiple books regarding sports history from various eras, the origins of the game, great dynasties, great coaches, and great players. Dino's experience in writing was obtained at Humber College in Toronto, Ontario through the Theater Performance program. As an avid football fan following the NFL, CFL, NCAA, and USports Football, Dino has been writing about the Canadian Football League in various capacities since 2019. In December 2021, Dino joined the CFL News Hub team. Dino is proud to be part of the CFL News Hub contributing team and looks forward to covering the Edmonton Elks going into the future.
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