The Edmonton Elks (0-2) will be seeing their provincial rivals the Calgary Stampeders (2-0) quite a bit over the next 12 weeks.
Their first of four meetings begins on Saturday, when the two meet from McMahon Stadium in Calgary.
Jones says facing the Stampeders will give the Elks a chance to see where they want to to get to as a football team.
“I think the good thing about it is, you have to go through Calgary to win the west anyway, regardless of who you are,” Jones said.
“To play Calgary four times, it’s a good measuring stick to see where you need to be.”
LISTEN: Edmonton Elks head coach Chris Jones is looking forward to facing the Stampeders four times this season for one good reason
The Elks showed marked improvement last week against the Saskatchewan Roughriders from their 59-15 loss to the B.C. Lions in Week 1.
The Elks managed to have a lead in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t hang on losing 26-16.
Elks quarterback Nick Arbuckle recorded his 6th career 300 yard passing game in the loss.
Receiver Kenny Lawler recorded his fourth career 100 yard receiving game with 149 yards and set career-highs in receptions with 12 and targets with 17.
Lawler leads the CFL coming into Week 3 in targets (23) and catches (17) and is second in receiving yards with 221.
LISTEN: Edmonton Elks quarterback Nick Arbuckle says four meetings with the Stampeders will determine a lot in the standings
Turnovers have been an issue for the Elks in the first two games — they are last in the CFL in turnover ratio at minus-6.
The Stampeders, on the other hand, are second in the league with a plus-4 turnover ratio and lead the CFL in points off turnovers with 31.
The Elks have only seven points off turnovers, the worst mark in the league.
The Elks will have receiver Derel Walker in the lineup, after missing one game with a hand/finger injury.
After getting married last week, offensive lineman Mark Korte returns to the starting lineup.
Linebacker Deon Lacey will earn his first start of the season at middle linebacker.
Converted-receiver-to-defensive-back Charles Nelson will play his first game of the season as the starting safety — Nelson will also be the Elks primary returner.
On the one-game injured list is right tackle Colin Kelly (ankle) and linebacker Brady Sheldon (knee.)
The Calgary Stampeders say quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell will be a game-time decision because of a right foot injury sustained in Week 1, backup Jake Maier will get the call if Mitchell can’t play.
The following are the projected offensive and defensive starters for the Elks:
Quarterback: Nick Arbuckle
Running back: James Wilder Jr. (fullback: Tanner Green)
Offensive line: Tony Washington, David Foucault, David Beard, Mark Korte, Martez Ivey
Receivers: Derel Walker, Kenny Lawler, Emmaneul Arceneaux, Kai Locksley, Mike Jones
Defensive line: Mailk Tyne, Makana Henry, Christian Rector, Matthew Thomas
Linebackers: Adam Konar, Deon Lacey, Matthew Elam
Defensive backs: Jalen Collins, Ed Gainey, Charles Nelson, Thomas Decoud, Nafees Lyon
You can hear live coverage of Saturday’s game between the Elks and Stampeders on 630 CHED starting with Countdown to Kickoff with Brenden Escott at 3:30 p.m.
The opening kickoff from McMahon Stadium in Calgary will be at 6 p.m. with Morley Scott who will be joined in the booth by former Edmonton offensive lineman and two-time Grey Cup champion Blake Dermott, as Dave Campbell remains in COVID protocol. You’ll hear analysis from Dave via his home connection.