After sitting them out of the first preseason game, the Edmonton Elks will have their top two quarterbacks back in the lineup when they wrap up their exhibition schedule against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Saturday.
Starter Taylor Cornelius sits atop the depth chart and will get his chance to tune up for the season, while second-year Canadian Tre Ford will take second-team reps. Kai Locksley, who started the team’s first preseason game, is listed as third on the depth chart, followed by Khalil Tate. Rookie Jarrett Doege, who impressed in his preseason debut, will not be in the lineup after sustaining an injury.
Cornelius started 12 games for Edmonton in 2022, posting a 3-9 record as a starter. He finished the season having completed 57.4 percent of his passes for 2,768 yards, 11 touchdowns, and nine interceptions along with 71 carries for 502 yards and seven touchdowns.
The six-foot-five, 232-pound passer signed a two-year contract extension in September that included a signing bonus worth over $100,000. His salary is partially guaranteed in the second year of the deal.
Ford was selected in the first round, eighth overall by the Edmonton Elks in the 2022 CFL Draft out of the University of Waterloo. He became the highest-selected quarterback in the draft since 1980 when Joe Hawco was taken eighth overall by the Montreal Alouettes.
The 25-year-old made his first career start in Week 4 when the Elks visited the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Tim Hortons Field. He completed 15-of-26 pass attempts for 159 yards with one touchdown and one interception in a 29-25 victory, Edmonton’s first of the season. He also ran the ball six times for 61 yards.
The native of Niagara Falls, Ont. suffered a shoulder injury early the following week in a start against the Calgary Stampeders. He missed two months of action before returning against the Saskatchewan Roughriders in mid-September in a backup role.
Ford made one final start against the B.C. Lions in mid-October after Edmonton had already been eliminated from postseason contention. He completed 22-of-36 pass attempts for 242 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions while running the ball eight times for 72 yards.
The six-foot, 185-pound passer finished his rookie CFL season completing 58.0 percent of his passes for 461 yards with two touchdowns and five interceptions. He also ran the ball 19 times for 149 yards.
After fielding an inexperienced lineup in their first preseason contest, the Elks will have most of their projected starters on the field at home. Notable names still sitting out include defensive backs Aaron Grymes and Scott Hutter, and defensive tackle J-Min Pelley.
The Elks and Lions are scheduled to kick off at 4:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, May 27 at Commonwealth Stadium.