Elks’ starting SLB Brian Walker placed in COVID protocol, will not play Saturday

Photo courtesy: Edmonton Elks

After a day of uncertainty, the Edmonton Elks have clarified the name of one of the two players within the organization that have tested positive for COVID-19.

Starting strongside linebacker Brian Walker has entered COVID protocol and has been placed on the one-game injured list. One other player who tested positive has not been named, but is not on the active roster.

Walker joined Edmonton in 2018 as a free-agent from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, spending the season on the practice roster. Walker was promoted to the active roster in 2019, playing in 14 games (nine starts), racking up 29 total tackles, two sacks, and an interception. The UNC product has shown position versatility in his short career, lining up as both a defensive back and a linebacker for the team.

In his 29 game CFL career, Walker has accumulated 73 total tackles, two sacks, two interceptions, and a forced fumble. He is signed with the team through 2024.

Backup defensive back Darius Williams is expected to slide into Walker’s vacated SAM linebacker spot. Afolabi Laguda has been promoted from the practice roster to provide additional depth in the defensive backfield.

The team was forced to cancel a scheduled walkthrough on Friday and the subsequent media availability after registering the two positive tests. The Elks later released a statement saying they are ‘continuing to prepare’ for their home opener and that there was ‘no concern’ that the game would be canceled.

The Elks are set to open their season on Saturday at home against the Ottawa Redblacks.