The 2022 edition of the Edmonton Elks will not being joining the party of the CFL post-season for the third time in the last four seasons. The Elks have two games remaining — both at home starting on Saturday afternoon against the East Division leading Toronto Argonauts on The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium.
Head coach Chris Jones, who is also the team’s general manager says the process for the 2023 season begins now and the final two games will serve as an evaluation period for players. Their performance –good or bad — will determine their future with the team. Also, the Elks would love nothing more but to end a CFL record 15 game losing streak at home. Edmonton’s last victory on home soil came on Oct. 12, 2019 over the B.C. Lions.
Another exercise for the Elks is to simulate post-season play in the final two games. Starting quarterback Taylor Cornelius says the Elks can use these two games to start a winning culture.
“Coach Jones has been preaching it all week about having a playoff mindset,” Cornelius said. To win these last two games would be huge for this fan base and huge for this team moving into the future and just build on it.”
Edmonton Elks quarterback Taylor Cornelius on the challenge of preparing for the final 2 games of the season
The Elks are starting to show some promise from various players — receiver Dillon Mitchell could be at the top of that list. In just six games, Mitchell is in the top-25 of the CFL receiving list with 548 yards. Mitchell is third on the Elks in receiving yards and has recorded six catches of 30 yards or more — one in each game he’s played, and has scored three touchdowns.
Edmonton Elks head coach and general manger Chris Jones says the final two games still presents lots of oppourtunities for his football team
The receiving core will have a re-appearance of the Manny Show as Manny Arceneaux returns to the starting lineup for the first time since suffering an ankle injury on Aug. 19 in Ottawa against the Redblacks. The 35 year-old has recorded 456 receiving yards, has scored one touchdown, and has a catch rate of over 80 per cent.
Linebacker Deon Lacey will start in just his second game of the season at middle linebacker. Defensive back Donovan Olumba will start at the wide-corner position as he makes his Elks debut. Linebacker Tony Jones will be added to the active roster. Finally, on a day when the U of A Golden Bears host the University of Calgary Dinos at noon at Commonwealth, U of A alum and defensive lineman Cole Nelson will play his first game of the season.
Linebacker Tre Watson (knee), defensive back Duron Carter (shoulder), linebacker Tobi Antigha (groin), defensive tackle J-Min Pelley (head), and receiver Jalin Marshall (healthy scratch) have all been placed on the one-game injured list.
The following are the projected offensive and defensive starters for the Elks:
Quarterback: Taylor Cornelius
Running back: Kevin Brown (Fullback: Tanner Green)
Offensive line: Martez Ivey, David Foucault, Mark Korte, Tomas Jack-Kurdyla, Andrew Garnett
Receivers: Dillon Mitchell, Derel Walker, Manny Arceneaux, Kai Locksley, Danny Vandervoort
Defensive line: Christian Rector, Kony Ealy, Jake Ceresna, Matt Thomas
Linebackers: Adam Konar, Deon Lacey, Enock Makanzo
Defensive backs: Jamie Harry, Ed Gainey, Scott Hutter, Treston Decoud, Donovan Olumba
You can hear live coverage of the Elks and Argonauts on CISN Country 103.9 FM starting with Countdown to Kickoff with Brenden Escott at 3:30 p.m.
The opening kickoff on The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium will be at 5 p.m. with Morley Scott and Dave Campbell with analysis by former Edmonton Football Team offensive lineman and two-time Grey Cup champion Blake Dermott. David Boles will be reporting from the Elks sidelines.