The Edmonton Elks enter week 9 on the road in Vancouver, British Columbia to take on one of the best in the Canadian Football League in a matchup against the BC Lions. The Elks will try to erase their embarrassing loss in week 1 vs the BC Lions in which the Lions feasted on the Elks at will in a 59-15 victory.
A lot has changed since their week 1 loss. At one point, a lot of Edmonton fans were not sure what direction the Elks will be heading from the beginning of the 2022 CFL season. And rightfully so. Nevertheless, there have been shades of improvement by the Edmonton Elks which all things considered, have made the most at times with a depleted lineup.
Moreover, with a squad where the majority of the roster has not been together for any more than 2 seasons. Add this all up, and you have a squad that is in a 2nd year in a rebuild. Edmonton fans will be patient for a rebuild. But what Edmonton fans want is a team that will compete every week and or close to it to show signs of improvement going forward.
Edmonton Elks Depth Chart vs the BC Lions for Week 9
On the defense, newly acquired defensive lineman Kony Ealy will dress up for the Elks, and will be slotted behind DT Jake Ceresna who is recently coming off of the injury list. Jake Ceresna will be joined by DE Thomas Costigan in which both will be needed to have a big game in trying to apply pressure on BC QB Nathan Rourke in order to have a chance in slowing down the BC offense. When they were both lined up together, both Costigan and Ceresna made some big plays when it mattered most in stopping the run on the edge.
WLB Adam Konar, MLB Nyles Morgan, and SLB Treston Decoud will round out the linebacking core and will have a difficult challenge in stopping the powerful BC running game. Most notably it attempting to halt BC RB James Butler. In an interesting move here, Treston Decoud can be a key figure here in this game as his natural position is as a defensive back. He will be able to comfortably drop back into coverage to help out the secondary on the defense.
In the secondary, Duron Carter will start at FS, with Scott Hutter as the backup FS. However, Scott Hutter will most likely be used on special teams as well, as he has made quite a few special teams tackles during the duration of the 2022 season. There is no doubt that the defensive spark might have to be with Duron Carter in the secondary. He played well vs the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in week 7 prior to the week 8 bye week. In that game, he made it difficult for Winnipeg QB Zach Collaros in the passing game in which he ended up with 1 interception, along with breaking up key passes. Not only did he help out big for Edmonton on the defense, but also contributed to the kick returns and punt returns. Duron Carter would end the game with 89 return yards on 6 attempts.
LT Tony Washington, LG David Foucault, C David Beard, RG Mark Korte, and RT Martez Ivy will round out the offensive line. The one positive with the Edmonton offensive line is that going back to the last 3 games of the 2022 season. They seem to be more in sync and more responsible in quarterback protection.
In an interesting move at RB, the Elks will start Ante Milanovic-Litre at RB and not at his usual FB position. It clearly shows that the Edmonton running game has been non-existent during the 2022 season. Coach Chris Jones will be looking to throw all the punches at the BC defensive front 7 in a way to gain momentum in this game vs the BC Lions. Ante Milanovic-Litre can be a key figure in moving the chains consistently to gain some much-needed yards to conduct long drives for the offense.
The receiving core will be made up of WR Derel Walker, SB Kenny Lawler, SB Kai Locksley, and WR Chris Osei-Kusi who will replace Mike Jones who has been recently released by the Edmonton Elks. It will be good to have utility QB and SB Kai Locksley back in the lineup coming off the recent injury list. He has been a heart and soul player that has been taking quite a few hits and still shows up every play to give the Edmonton offense a chance. There is no doubt that when Kenny Lawler is on the field, he will give the best chance for the offense in sustaining drives.
At quarterback Taylor Cornelius will get the start again. And rightfully so. Talyor Cornelius has shown improvement since taking over the QB duties in week 6 after inconstant play by then QB Nick Arbuckle (released by the Elks), along with QB Tre Ford being injured.
Week 9 Outlook
This Edmonton Elks team has shown signs of improvement at times during 2022 thus far. This Edmonton Elks team will have a much more difficult task in going into Vancouver to try a steal a victory away from a much more all-around polished BC Lions squad. However, the more bodies coming back onto the Edmonton Elks lineup, the better the product will be on the field. At a record of 2-5 heading into Vancouver, the Edmonton Elks have made a lot of games close with the only exception of the week 1 blowout 59-15 loss to the BC Lions, and in a Week 5 loss 49-6 vs the Calgary Stampeders. The BC Lions will most likely win this game, but the Edmonton Elks will make this game closer than football fans think.
Edmonton Watch Party
The Edmonton Elks Watch Party continues around the Edmonton area and will be hosted at Provincial Kitchen and Bar. Come on Edmonton fans. Antler up! and support your team. Wear the green and gold tomorrow in support of your Edmonton Elks!
Stay with CFL News Hub for the 2022 season.