Chris Jones says Duron Carter will be used ‘a bunch of different ways’ in debut with Edmonton Elks

Screenshot courtesy: Edmonton Elks

Duron Carter is set to dress for his first game as a member of the Edmonton Elks, though it remains unclear what position he’ll play.

“We’re going to utilize him in a bunch of different ways,” head coach Chris Jones told the media. “He’s not necessarily going to start but he’s gonna play in a bunch of different ways this weekend and hopefully help us win that football game.”

Carter was twice named a CFL all-star at receiver before practicing at defensive back with the Riders in 2017. He started five games at cornerback the following year — recording 11 tackles and one interception — and has also been an effective return specialist, returning a missed field goal for a touchdown with Montreal in 2014.

The 31-year-old has been listed as a defensive back since signing with the Elks in February and welcomes the opportunity to find new ways to contribute on the field after missing the first six games of the season with a broken ankle.

“Coach Jones signs you as an athlete, you know? When you come here, you’re an athlete — not just your position — and you have to accept anything you can do to help the team. If Coach Jones sees you in a different position, that’s more a credit to you than anything,” said Carter.

“No other coach would allow you to even experiment like that. We have I think three or four receivers that are at DB right now, so it really just shows the athleticism we have all around across the board on the team.”

Former all-star halfback Aaron Grymes has spent all season on the six-game injured list, while second-year cornerback Nafees Lyon joined him last week. Despite the injuries, Carter believes Edmonton’s defensive backs have the potential to make a big impact this season.

“Especially in the DB room, we can affect the game. We can win the game in the DB room. Ed (Gainey) came up with a big pick last week that led to a touchdown for us to win the game and those are the type of plays you need. Coach Jones has big-play defences, we’re high-risk, high-reward. We’re out there, we’re in man-to-man, no help. We’re out there, we gotta hold our nuts.”

Carter did not play in the CFL in 2021 as he served as the head coach at North Palm Beach Prep in Port Saint Lucie, Fla. He also ran the team’s defence, which he feels has given him a greater understanding and appreciation for the defensive side of the game.

Edmonton is set to host the two-time defending Grey Cup champion Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Friday. The Bombers are off to a perfect 6-0 start to the season and currently sit eight points ahead of Edmonton (2-4) in the West Division standings.

“They’re playing really good football,” said Jones. “They’re a really good football team, they’re well-coached in all phases, very well like Calgary. In all three phases, they have veteran people that have been around the league for a long time. They’re teams that don’t beat themselves. They play hard and they force a lot of turnovers.”