The Edmonton Elks will be looking deeper in their depth chart for the QB position for their Week 11 matchup versus Winnipeg. Head Coach Jamie Elizondo stated in a press conference on Oct. 11th that the team will be moving on from star quarterback Trevor Harris.
“It’s not an easy decision but, at this point, it’s a team decision”– Jaime Elizondo, Head Coach
Harris, whose time on the field has been full of high highs and lower lows, has been hooked. Let’s see if we can determine why.
His season started off on the wrong foot during Week one, where he threw three interceptions. He came back during Week two, throwing for 233 yards through the air and one touchdown. During Week three, Harris was able to help the Elks get their first win by throwing for an 84% completion percentage and another touchdown pass. Harris looked to be back in his prime after Week five, where he tossed four touchdown passes before falling from grace in Week six, where he adds yet another interception to his stat-line.
“We’re not getting the play that we need from the quarterback position”– Jaime Elizondo, Head Coach
This is where things started going downhill for Harris and the Elks. Sitting at 2-3 and facing a tough Winnipeg defence, the Elks were forced to go with Taylor Cornelius as Harris was out with an injury. After a tough loss to the Blue Bombers in Week seven, the Elks headed into their bye week with lots on their minds. They could not get it together for their Week nine-game, where they lost to the Redblacks.
Then an unexpected roster move had most of the CFL community guessing. Harris was placed back on the active roster after being placed on the six-game injured list just one week earlier. Trevor seemed determined to keep his starting position with Edmonton. Unfortunately, his Week 10 “debut” against Winnipeg did not go his way, losing 30-3. Harris could not get the offence on track, completing only 40% of his throws and not throwing any touchdown passes. Maybe he should have stayed on IR.
“Yea, we’re moving on with number 15 and number 14”– Jaime Elizondo, Head Coach
So we’ve caught up to the present. The Edmonton Elks are sitting at 2-6 and are travelling to Winnipeg in Week 11 to face the Blue Bombers a second time in as many weeks. Harris has been pulled from the starting lineup for Cornelius, the CFL rookie and it isn’t hard to see why. Harris sits at sixth in the league for passing yards (1568 yards), has thrown six touchdowns and five interceptions. Hopefully, he can find his way back into the CFL somehow. In the meantime, let’s take a look at his heir-apparent.
“I think they’re (Cornelius and Prukop) very mobile. They can extend the play with their legs and you can do a few more things with them from a play-calling perspective”– Jaime Elizondo, Head Coach
Taylor Cornelius is no stranger to pro football, proving he can do it all during the 2020 XFL Season where he played with the Tampa Bay Vipers. Funny enough, Jaime Elizondo was his offensive coordinator in Florida. He started out the season as the third-string QB, before working his way to the starting position. Through five games with the Vipers, he put up respectable numbers, throwing for 858 yards and four touchdowns. He also tacked on another 114 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.
Related: CFL Power Rankings – Week 10
“Taylor we brought up here originally to not only win the backup position, but we felt he was good enough to be the eventual replacement for Trevor Harris”– Jaime Elizondo, Head Coach
During Cornelius’s CFL Debut in Week seven, he threw for 243 yards but no touchdowns. Instead, he threw three interceptions. During Week nine, he played a fair bit better, throwing for 334 yards, and three Touchdowns, only throwing two picks. Finally, during Week 10, Cornelius was thrown into action during the fourth quarter where he struggled to get the Elks back on track, throwing an interception in the process. It will ultimately be interesting to see how Cornelius continues his CFL career as the Edmonton quarterback. I will leave you with this quote from Edmonton’s Vice President Brock Sunderland.
“No one knows who Tom Brady is until Drew Bledsoe goes down, I’m not putting him in that category but you have backup quarterbacks for a reason. Sometimes you don’t know the true talent until they’re put into these situations.”– Brock Sunderland, Vice President