Elks list 12 players in COVID protocol, including Derel Walker, Aaron Grymes

Photo courtesy: Edmonton Elks

The Edmonton Elks have returned to the field and their Thursday injury report reveals some of the players who contracted COVID-19 during the team’s outbreak last week.

According to the report, six players did not practice Thursday due to being in protocol. That list includes Canadian receiver Tevaun Smith, defensive back Aaron Grymes, receiver Armanti Edwards, defensive back Albert Smalls, and linebackers Keishawn Beirria and Brandon Pittman.

Also limited in practice as they return from COVID protocol were receivers Derel Walker and Shai Ross, defensive back Jonathan Rose, and defensive linemen Christian Rector, Reggie Howard and Kwaku Boateng.

The Elks’ Week 4 game against the Toronto Argonauts was postponed last week after five Edmonton players tested positive for the virus on Saturday, August 21. The team was placed in a mandatory ten-day isolation by Alberta Health Services and eventually had 13 players test positive, with one additional case deemed a false positive.

Boateng was in COVID protocol prior to Edmonton’s Week 3 game in Vancouver. It is unclear whether he was included as part of the 13 positive tests.

Earlier this week, the team released starting left guard Jacob Ruby for allegedly misrepresenting his vaccination status. The CFL has since barred Ruby from signing another contract in the league this season.

The outbreak occurred after one player “unintentionally” broke COVID protocols by bringing in an outside massage therapist, from whom he contracted the virus. Other cases have been linked to player’s wives.

The Elks had not released the names of those players who tested positive prior to Thursday. Based on the CFL’s collective bargaining agreement with the CFLPA, the Elks and the CFL are not at liberty to identify individual’s who have tested positive for COVID-19. However, those in COVID protocols, including both those with the virus and close contacts, must be listed on the teams weekly injury report.