EDMONTON – There will be a new face under centre for the Edmonton Elks Saturday when they take the field against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (7:45 p.m. MT).
Oklahoma State product Taylor Cornelius gets the start for the Elks at quarterback, as Trevor Harris is sidelined with a neck injury that landed him on the six-game injured list.
While how long Harris remains on the injured list remains to be seen, the starting job belongs to Cornelius in the interim.
The first-year CFLer has yet to throw a game ball north of the border – pre-season or otherwise – and will be tossed into action against the defending Grey Cup champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Like Cornelius, Saturday also features two other notable Elks debuts, as offensive lineman SirVincent makes his much-awaited appearance in Green and Gold, while prized linebacker Derrick Moncrief will be in the lineup after his first week of practice in Edmonton.
NOTE: Fans are reminded that proof of vaccination (min. one dose) or a negative COVID-19 test will be required to attend. More details can be found here.
Saturday will be a tall order for the Elks newcomers, who kick off a stretch that features three of Edmonton’s next four games against the CFL’s best team.
While Cornelius has yet to write his first CFL chapter, both Rogers and Moncrief bring all-star credentials to the table at just the right time.
Winnipeg enters the weekend with just a single blemish on their otherwise sterling record. A 30-23 loss to Toronto back in Week 3 seems a distant memory for the Bombers, who are coming off a two-game sweep of the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Edmonton Elks (2-3-0) -vs- Winnipeg Blue Bombers (5-1-0)
- DATE | TIME: Saturday, September 18 | 7:45 p.m. MT
- LOCATION: The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium | Edmonton, AB
- BROADCASTS: TSN | 630 CHED | ESPN+
- 50/50 (James H. Brown Injury Lawyers): Click here to buy your tickets (anywhere in AB)
INJURY REPORTS: EDMONTON & WINNIPEG (CLICK HERE)
MEDIA NOTES: CLICK HERE
Saturday’s QB1… 🌽 🐕 !
— Edmonton Elks (@elks) September 17, 2021
WALKING INTO THE SPOTLIGHT
Cornelius is no stranger to waiting his turn for a place in the spotlight.
In fact, Cornelius becoming Edmonton’s starter came at lightspeed compared to the patience he showed at Oklahoma State.
A walk-on with the Cowboys in 2014, the Bushland, Texas product redshirted his first season at OSU, threw just five passes as a freshmen, and then backed up Mason Rudolph as a sophomore and junior before finally earning the starting job as a senior.
From walk-on, to scholarship player, and finally the starter, it was a progression for Cornelius, who posted 42 total TDs in 2018 as a senior. That’s tied for the second highest single-season total at OSU with Barry Sanders.
You’ll be able to read more on Cornelius’ journey to Elks starter tomorrow, right here on goelks.com
🗣️ “Just want to do everything I can do to get back in the mix with these guys and battle with these guys up front.”
🎥 OL SirVincent Rogers on potentially making his Elks debut on Saturday. pic.twitter.com/t88i6K1V9L
— Edmonton Elks (@elks) September 17, 2021
ROGERS READY FOR RETURN
Teammate, fan, opponent – is there anyone not happy to see SirVincent Rogers in the lineup this weekend.
Well, maybe the Bombers who will have to deal with the CFL’s 2015 Most Outstanding Lineman.
A major free agent signing by the Green and Gold ahead of the 2019 season, Rogers finally makes his Edmonton debut this weekend.
A season-ending triceps injury sustained in training camp derailed Rogers’ 2019 season, while a pectoral injury has kept him out of the lineup in 2021.
But the University of Houston product will finally make his Elks debut Saturday, bringing his three-time all-star status with him to an offensive line that will now feature its sixth different alignment this season.
It’ll be SirV’s first CFL game since November 25, 2018 when he faced the Calgary Stampeders as a member of the Ottawa RedBlacks.
REMPEL REFLECTS ON TIME WITH BOMBERS
The CFL’s longest serving player Chad Rempel spoke to some familiar media faces Friday ahead of Saturday’s game.
Edmonton’s long snapper spent six seasons in Winnipeg, including the previous five before joining the Elks, so it was no wonder the Bombers beat media wanted a word with the former Saskatchewan Huskie.
The Sherwood Park, Alta. native was part of the Bombers 2019 Grey Cup championship team. That was Rempel’s second CFL title, after winning the 100th Grey Cup with Toronto in 2012.
- Moving the ball hasn’t been Edmonton’s primary concern this season, as the Elks enter the game first in the CFL averaging 393 yards per game.
- The Elks enter the game having scored in 14 consecutive quarters.
Aaron Grymes is moving up Edmonton’s all-time tackles list, and needs six tackles to move past Bennie Goods (1990-98) for 18th in franchise history. Grymes currently has 208 tackles.
- James Wilder Jr. continues to lead the CFL in rushing, with 438 yards to his name through five games, while Winnipeg’s Andrew Harris has 256 through three games.
- Winnipeg enters the night +60 in points for and against. The Bombers have scored a CFL-best 136 points.
- All-time vs. Winnipeg: Edmonton is 102-86-3 (59-34-2 at home | 43-52-1 in Winnipeg)
- Last 10 meetings: Edmonton is 6-4-0
- Elks 2019 record: 0-2
- Last meeting: 34-29 Winnipeg (Week 11 – Aug. 23, 2019)