LIVESTREAM CFL: Winnipeg Blue Bombers @ Edmonton Elks, Aug. 11, 03:00 CET (3 am, 9 pm Aug. 10 EDT)

After an impressive Week 9 win, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers hit the road to pay a visit to the winless Edmonton Elks on Thursday night.

In a battle of the top two teams in the West Division last week, it was the Blue Bombers who cruised to a 50-14 win over the BC Lions. It was the kind of offensive performance they’ll hope to carry into Edmonton against an Elks team that’s given up a league-high 212 points.

For the Elks, they’re coming off a bye and will turn to Tre Ford in the pocket to try and spark an offence that’s averaging a league-low 13.1 points per game.

Under centre for the Bombers, Zach Collaros added to his league-leading touchdowns with three against the Lions and now has 16 on the season.

» Depth Chart: EDM | WPG

While Edmonton has allowed 10 passing touchdowns, their pass defense has been a strong suit of the team. Defensive backs Kai GrayScott Hutter and Marcus Lewis, who have helped limit opponents to 264.1 yards, will try to close gaps and tighten up coverage downfield. The secondary will also see the return of Ed Gainey from injury, a welcome addition to an already stellar unit.

Those four will need to key in on receiver Kenny Lawler who has shown no signs of rust after missing the first six games of the season and had 200 yards and a touchdown reception in their win over BC. Dalton Schoen, who caught two touchdown passes of his own a week ago, Nic Demski and Drew Wolitarsky help round out a dynamic corps capable of spreading the offence from sideline to sideline.

Schoen knows how important Lawler is to the Bombers offensive attack and with so many gamebreaking receivers, it makes it tough on opposing defences to shut them down.

Watch live. Winnipeg Blue Bombers @ Edmonton Elks, Aug. 11, 03:00 CET (3 am, 9 pm Aug. 10 EDT)

“It adds another weapon to this offence, having him out there,” Schoen told “I mean, everyone across this league knows what Kenny is capable of. We know as an offence that we have a lot of weapons and so if everyone is doing their job on any given play the defence can’t take away everything and the ball is going to find where it needs to go to the open guy.”

No team has given up more rushing yards than the Elks’ 141.6 and they’ll be up against a run game that has multiple players that can carry the football. Aside from the obvious of Brady Oliveira and his 593 yards this season, Demski and Greg McCrae have both used their legs to gain yardage.

It’ll be up to defensive linemen Elliott BrownJake Ceresna and A.C. Leonard, and linebacker Tony Jones to shut down Collaros and the run game. All of them had a sack in their last game against the Lions in Week 8, led by Leonard’s two.

With Ford set to make his first start of the season and Jarious Jackson now serving as the offensive coordinator, defensive backs Brandon Alexander and Demerio Houston will aim to capitalize on an offence looking to find its identity.

Jackson says he’s looking forward to the challenge of getting the offence back on track, a job that begins against a talented Bombers defense.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity of being an offensive coordinator again in the CFL,” Jackson told “It’s a privilege to coach in this league and with this club, so the importance of this role isn’t lost on me. We have a lot of work to do to improve our offensive output and meet the high expectations we have as a group. That work begins now.”

If Ford is to have success, the offensive line of David Foucault and Martez Ivey need to find a way to give him time in the pocket to make his reads. Elks quarterbacks have been taken down 22 times to this point. On the other side of the line, Jackson Jeffcoat and Jake Thomas will try to add to the Bombers’ 27 sacks after both had one in their last game.

Head coach Chris Jones hopes Ford, who completed 40 passes for 461 yards in parts of 10 games last season, can provide a jump to his receiving corps that has failed to find consistency through their first eight games.

With an inexperienced quarterback, it’s a unit that will need veteran Steven Dunbar Jr. to step up and make big plays. Dunbar Jr. has 29 receptions for 351 yards for a team that has totalled 1,837 this season.

There will be another veteran presence at the receiver position as Emmanuel Arceneaux is back in the line up and should see plenty of targets.

The pass game isn’t the only part of the offence Jones hopes Ford can help with, as he rushed for 149 yards a year ago and averaged 7.84 yards per carry when he called his own number. Having Ford as a running option alongside Kevin Brown and Shannon Brooks will give the Bombers front multiple looks to deal with.

Despite having not played this season, Ford expects to step right in and deliver under his new offensive coordinator.

“I like our offensive scheme going into this week,” Ford told reporters. “I feel like we’ve done really well in practice just executing the plays and moving the ball. Offensively, I feel like we’re looking pretty strong right now. It’s super exciting. I’m really excited just to be able to play again.”

A win and the Bombers will be alone atop the West Division.

The Elks hope the bye week and the changes that came with it leads them to their first win of the season and the end of their 21-game home losing streak.

Watch live. Winnipeg Blue Bombers @ Edmonton Elks, Aug. 11, 03:00 CET (3 am, 9 pm Aug. 10 EDT)

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