The Edmonton Elks have listed rookie Canadian Tre Ford as the team’s starting quarterback for their Week 4 matchup with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Friday.
Ford was narrowly edged out by Nick Arbuckle for the starting job in training camp but it appears the team will be making a switch after an 0-3 start to the season. Ford is listed as the starter on the team’s official depth chart, whilst Arbuckle has been relegated to backup status.
Arbuckle has been 61-of-95 passing for 795 yards, two touchdowns and six interceptions during Edmonton’s inauspicious start to the season. Ford has seen limited action thus far as a package player, going one-for-three passing for eight yards and an interception while rushing for 10 yards.
It isn’t surprising to see the Elks turn to Ford so early, as head coach Chris Jones loved his dynamic playmaking ability so much that he drafted Ford eighth overall in the 2022 CFL Draft, making him the first quarterback taken in the first round since 1980. Ford first attended NFL rookie mini-camp with the Baltimore Ravens, before turning down an offer from the New York Giants to get to Edmonton on time for training camp.
Ford won the Hec Crighton Trophy as the best player in U Sports football this past season after completing 63 percent of his passes for 1,770 yards, 12 touchdowns, and six interceptions while rushing 66 times for 667 yards and three touchdowns in seven games, including one in the playoffs.
The Waterloo product had his best college season in 2018 when he completed 74 percent of his passes for 3,093 yards, 30 touchdowns, and two interceptions while rushing 85 times for 771 yards and four touchdowns in eight regular-season games and one in the playoffs.
Ford displayed elite athleticism after being invited to the University at Buffalo pro day in mid-March, running a 4.45-second forty-yard dash, leaping 36 inches in the vertical jump and recording a ten-foot, five-inch broad jump. He expanded on those results at the CFL Combine, posting 17 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press and completing the three-cone drill in 6.85 seconds with a 4.27-second shuttle.
The Elks clearly hope that Ford’s unique athleticism will jump-start their offence against Hamilton, but it’s unclear whether the Canadian has been handed the keys to the car or will be used strategically.