With all of the things happening with the Edmonton Elks organization, the play of Trevor Harris has been somewhat swept under the rug and rarely talked about. It’s really a well-known fact at this point that Harris is mired with inconsistencies from game to game, but for some reason, those highs haven’t been very high this season, but the lows have been possibly worse than they have before.
Through six games this season, Harris is 135/192 passing (70%) for 1568 yards. Impressive, right? Wrong. The numbers in the passing game have always been good for Harris, but the inability to score in the red zone is something that has followed him from Ottawa. He has thrown just six touchdown passes this season but has thrown five interceptions to offset that.
Well, six touchdown passes in as many games isn’t terrible, right? Wrong again. At face value, that’s not awful by any means, there are some teams around the league that would love to have one touchdown pass a game, but when you dig deeper, you see why that isn’t the case for Harris and the Elks.
Flashback to week five, the week Harris won 13th Man Sports’ Player of the Week. In that game, he was phenomenal throwing for 398 yards on 31 completions with four touchdowns. Hang on a second… There are four of his six touchdowns on the season right there. Well, that’s the issue. Minus week five, Harris has just two touchdown passes in his other five games. If you’re wondering why the Elks are so bad, there’s a good indication for you.
Before the Elks can decide anything about the future of their marriage with Harris, they need to diagnose the problem. Part of it lies with Harris, part of it on the receivers for not playing up to their potential, part of it is on the offensive line, and a large portion falls on the shoulders of Jaime Elizondo. The only player that shares little to no blame in this is James Wilder Jr. His season has been a return to rookie form, and he has re-established himself as one of the league’s best backs.
All of the Elks’ issues are not Harris’ fault, and it’s unfair to suggest they are, but he hasn’t helped things much this season. That is very clear. Once the Elks have analyzed their failures, the next step would be to evaluate their alternative options. In the case of quarterback, it’s not all that pretty.
Might the Elks fancy a reunion with Jeremiah Masoli? Maybe they could try their luck at prying Jake Maier out of Calgary in the off-season. Maybe they chase after McLeod Bethel-Thompson or Nick Arbuckle. Maybe they look elsewhere, or even at their internal options, including Taylor Cornelius who Harris was benched in favour of in week 10. There just isn’t too much out there that would be considered a better option than Harris, even with how poorly he has played this season.
Considering everything, there is a good chance that the Elks move forward with Harris for at least one more season. Harris will be 36 years of age next season, reaching the end of his time in the CFL. If the Elks decide to move forward with him, it could be one of his final chances to make things better before it’s too late.
As for my prediction, I’d say there’s a 65 percent chance Harris is the Elks quarterback next season. This of course isn’t based on any insider information on the matter, but rather an observation and prediction. The options for his replacement are slim, and it’s hard to pass on a guy with so much upside, even if he rarely reaches it.