May 26, 2022

GLOBAL GAME PREVIEW: Elks Kick Off Preseason in Winnipeg

For the first time since guiding the Green and Gold to victory at the 2015 Grey Cup, Chris Jones will be back on the sidelines for the Edmonton Elks, when they visit the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at IG Field in the opening game of the 2022 CFL pre-season on Friday.

“I love to compete, I love the league, I love being here in Edmonton,” Jones, who was hired as head coach and general manager during the offseason. “It’s a great organization that’s got tremendous history, so it’s a time for me to reflect on things that we’ve been able to do, and I’m excited about playing.”

Anticipation has been building for the Elks, who have spent nearly two weeks in training camp, which was preceded by a three-day rookie camp.

“I’m definitely excited to get out there and compete against another team in different colours,” says quarterback Tre Ford, a first round selection in the 2022 CFL Draft.

“It’s going to be super-fun, a steep learning curve, still, seeing how the games are run at the pro level, and I’m just excited for me and also my teammates who are competing for a job.”

As is not unusual for this time of year, the Elks are taking a large contingent to Winnipeg, where they will meet a team that’s won the last two Grey Cup championships (2019 and 2021).

“You use preseason (Week) One as a chance to essentially look at your players and evaluate whether or not they can help your football team, that’s why you play these games,” said Jones.

It’s a competitive sport so we want to win the football game, don’t get me wrong, but at the same time we’re going to play double the guys we would normally take (on a road trip), so we’ve got to go down and be organized.”

A significant portion of Edmonton’s roster are players that are new to the CFL, and many of those are new to professional football, period. Friday night in Winnipeg represents one of the moments they’ve been working for years towards.

“I know there’s a lot of young guys here right now, and I know it’s just a preseason game, but getting that first one under your belt is definitely going to be big for me personally, and I know for a lot of the other guys as well,” says Ford, 24.

Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. MDT, and will be broadcast live on 630 CHED.