The final week of training camp is underway for the Edmonton Elks who will close out the pre-season on Friday night when they host the Calgary Stampeders on The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium.
Quarterback Nick Arbuckle played well in his debut with the Elks in a 30-20 pre-season win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers last Friday. Acquired from the Toronto Argonauts in late October, Arbuckle was 10-of-11 passing for 145 yards and two touchdowns.
During practice on Sunday, Arbuckle was extremely limited and on Monday he was a non-participant. Elks head coach Chris Jones provided an update.
“Nick got a little bit nicked up the other night but he should be fine,” Jones said. “I don’t know if he’ll play this week. He’s pretty much day-to-day.
“He did a real nice job for us (on Friday night). I think he had a 90 per cent completion percentage. He knows our playbook and he’s a good leader.”
Quarterback Taylor Cornelius played the second quarter and went 3-of-5 passing for 37 yards and ran in a one-yard touchdown. He said playing pre-season games is a big change from last season when there were no pre-season games.
“This year, it’s nice to be able to get into a rhythm with the guys who are going to play,” Cornelius said.
“It was to just get out there again playing football and getting some contact in for the first time this year.”
Cornelius started in seven games in 2021, winning only one game. He passed for 1,795 yards, throwing nine touchdown passes and 13 interceptions. The quarterback said he is looking to play with more poise compared to his rookie season in 2021.
“Definitely trying to — eliminating turnovers, making smart decisions and trying not to be in too big of a hurry — rushing and forcing things,” Cornelius said.
“I’m just trying to stay on the field as much as I can.”
Jones was asked how much he will look at the Calgary Stampeders in preparation for Friday’s pre-season finale.
Tre Ford, the Elks’ eighth overall pick in this year’s draft, went 1-of-3 passing for 17 yards and rushed for 47 yards. Kai Locksely played the fourth quarter going 9-of-11 passing for 85 yards.
The Elks announced Monday that the club has signed American receiver J.D. Spielman, who most notably played three seasons at Nebraska from 2017 to 2019.
Spellman recorded 170 catches for 2,546 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also earned All-Big Ten honours for three straight seasons with the Cornhuskers and led them in receiving yards and touchdown catches in 2019. He has spent the last two seasons at Texas Christian University and is the son of former Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman.
Kickoff on Friday on The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium will be at 7 p.m. 630 CHED will have Countdown to Kickoff starting at 5:30 p.m.
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