Elks a legitimate threat with Harris at QB



It’s the first place team hosting the last place team.

On paper, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers welcoming the Edmonton Elks to town doesn’t exactly sound like a marquee matchup.

But it’s juicier than it appears as the Elks have arrived in Winnipeg with starting quarterback Trevor Harris who missed two games with a neck injury.

Harris was leading the league in passing before he was sidelined days before the Elks hosted the Bombers on Sept. 18. CFL newcomer Taylor Cornelius was thrown in behind centre and Edmonton lost 37-22 to the reigning Grey Cup champs.

“No, and I have a ton of respect for Edmonton,” said Bombers quarterback Zach Collaros when asked if it feels like they’re preparing for a last-place team.

“The players on their defence are very talented and they’ve got a lot of talent on offence, too. And they’ve got a great kicking game. It’s the CFL, we all get paid to play this game. They play hard, they play for each other, and we’re gonna have to give our best effort to win. Having a great quarterback like Trevor back solidifies that.”

What could make Edmonton even more dangerous is the fact that their backs are up against a wall. They’re a desperate team that needs to pick up some wins in order to stay in the playoff race.

“I would give everything I had if I was them so that’s what I’m expecting for them to do and I’m expecting to match that with our team. I hope that we get that,” said Bombers wide receiver Drew Wolitarsky.

The Bombers (7-1) play two straight against the Elks (2-5) — a team that lost 34-24 to the lowly Ottawa Redblacks last week. With the Saskatchewan Roughriders also losing their last game, a 23-17 loss to Calgary to sink them to 5-3 on the year, the Bombers are in prime position to put their foot on the gas and run away with the West Division with a few weeks to spare in the shortened 14-game season.

“We know what we have, we know what position we’re in, we know what’s at stake, like, we’re not naive to that. But, again, when you have something good, it takes work to keep that right? You don’t just get it and there it is,” said Wolitarsky.

“So, we’re treating this like it is and we’re treating it’s a great opportunity and we’re gonna put in the work to achieve that because the only way we deserve it is if we work for it. So, that’s our mindset, man. And it’s week by week, really, at this point, and we talk about it. Our leaders are talking about it; we earn it. Nothing’s ever given to us. We got to earn this. And that’s what we’ve been doing.”

NO LAWLER, NO PROBLEM?

The Bombers are going to get a taste of life without Kenny Lawler.

The CFL’s leading receiver has been suspended for tonight’s game against Edmonton as he was arrested on Monday for impaired driving after getting into a single vehicle accident. With Lawler off the table, the Bombers have inserted Kelvin McKnight into the lineup. McKnight has caught 10 passes for 71 yards this season.

“I think KJ (McKnight), since he got here for training camp, has shown he’s a reliable guy, dependable, knows the playbook inside and out, and he’s an explosive player with the ball in his hands. He runs great routes, Collaros said.

“I think everybody has confidence in him, obviously, myself included. He’s been out there a couple times this season and we’re excited for him to get another opportunity.”

taylor.allen@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @TaylorAllen31

Taylor Allen

Taylor Allen
Reporter

Eighteen years old and still in high school, Taylor got his start with the Free Press on June 1, 2011. Well, sort of.

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