The Edmonton Elks are taking a proactive approach with regards to playing football during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to head coach Jaime Elizondo, the green and gold will rotate one quarterback through planned quarantine to ensure the Elks have a signal caller if a virus outbreak occurs within the locker room or facility. The QB in quarantine will throw on his own and attend meetings over Zoom.
“We’re going to do that all year because if you have a COVID outbreak and you don’t have a quarterback, you can’t play. If we do get an outbreak at least we have one that knows the offence, can run the system and can function,” Elizondo said.
“They’ll get their throws when nobody is here later in the evening. Try to go through the script as much as you can to work and simulate throws so they’re actually throwing. That’s going to be an evolving process, but it’s something that we had a plan for from way at the beginning. You can’t play a game without a quarterback, so we’re just being cautious.”
Edmonton wants to avoid a similar situation to the Denver Broncos in 2020. The NFL team had to start a receiver at quarterback because the coronavirus and close contacts ruled out all the passers on the roster.
The Elks currently have four quarterbacks on the roster, starter Trevor Harris along with Troy Williams, Dakota Prukop and Taylor Cornelius. For Week 1, Williams is the man in QB quarantine.
“There’s enough what-ifs in a regular game, much less into a season. Same philosophy: no flinching, no excuses, no complaining,” Elizondo said. “It is what it is and we’re all thankful to be playing football.”