STREAMING PPV: Edmonton Elks @ Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Oct. 9, 02:30 CET (2:30 am, 8:30 pm ET)

WINNIPEG — To kick off Thanksgiving Weekend, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are set to host the Edmonton Elks at IG Field on Friday night.

Winnipeg returns home after a commanding 30-9 win over the BC Lions on the road in Week 9. That was a game that saw Bombers quarterback Zach Collaros throw for over 400 yards and two touchdowns, the most air yards by any quarterback this season.

The Blue and Gold enter Week 10 looking to further their stronghold on the West and improve to an 8-1 record. However, they will be doing so without one of their biggest play makers, receiver Kenny Lawler. The breakout star will be unavailable on Friday for Winnipeg after being suspended earlier in the week.

The second-year wide out currently leads all receivers in yards and has proven to be an integral part of the Winnipeg offence through 2021. He had his best game to date in Week 9 with 205 yards and two touchdowns on 12 catches.

“It seemed like there were a lot of opportunities for him to make plays,” said Collaros. “It just so happened that the coverage would roll a certain way and he would happen to be the number one option and he made great plays on the football like he always does.”

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The absence of Lawler will certainly be a hit to the Blue and Gold offence, though with absence often comes opportunity in football, especially for Kelvin McKnight who will be back in the Winnipeg pass-catching rotation for the first time since Week 4.

McKnight signed with the Bombers in the 2021 off season and has since appeared in three games for Winnipeg. The rookie has seen 15 passes come his way and has caught 10 of those for 71 yards.

“Kelvin has been progressing very rapidly over the course of the season,” said offensive coordinator Buck Pierce of McKnight. “Credit to Kelvin and what he’s does, he’s kept himself ready to go.”

Veteran receiver Darvin Adams will also be in line for an uptake in targets in Friday night’s matchup. Adams has been a source of reliability for the Bombers this season, averaging 15.1 yards per reception.

In his last three appearances, Adams has seen 13 passes, fielding 10 for 125 yards and two touchdowns. With Lawler unavailable this week, the consistency and veteran leadership of Adams certainly make him a player to watch in the passing game.

Darvin Adams has played the X position and been out to the field as well,” said Collaros when asked of his receivers. “I can remember last season in the playoff run how many long passes he caught down the sideline.”

Despite being down one of their biggest playmakers, the Blue and Gold remain confident in the ability of their offence as a unit, which has proven to be one of the most efficient scoring offences in the league.

In their passing attack the Bombers have shown they are not reliant on just one or two playmakers, Collaros has distributed his 12 passing touchdowns to four different Bomber receivers. Additionally, the Blue and Gold have five wideouts who have accumulated 220 receiving yards or more.

On the ground, Winnipeg has proven to be equally as efficient. In five games Andrew Harris has carried the ball 86 times rushing for 434 yards and a touchdown, the fifth most rushing yard by a running back through the first nine weeks.

Despite Harris’ lone rushing touchdown, the Bombers have found the end zone nine times on the ground this season. Seven of Winnipeg’s nine majors can be attributed to quarterback Sean McGuire, who has proven to be a goal line specialist for the Blue and Gold.

For the opposing Elks, they enter this week looking to exact their revenge on their division rivals after falling 37-22 to Winnipeg in Week 7.

The last time Edmonton squared off against the Bombers, rookie quarterback Taylor Cornelius made his debut. It was a tough outing for the Green and Gold, one that saw Winnipeg capitalize on mistakes by scoring touchdowns on both a fumble and an interception return.

As Edmonton continues to battle for their first win since Labour Day, they enter the Week 10 rematch against Winnipeg with veteran quarterback Trevor Harris back under centre. The Elks’ signal caller has been sidelined with an injury since Week 6.


In five games played, Harris has thrown for 1,481 yards and six touchdowns, four of which were thrown in Harris’ near 400-yard performance on Labour Day to give the Elks their second win of the season.

Without Harris in the lineup, the game plan for the Elks was evident; lean on James Wilder Jr. And that was for good reason. Wilder Jr. leads the league in scrimmage yards with 781 and has totalled 588 yards on 103 carries for the Green and Gold.

In the two games without Harris under centre, the former Most Outstanding Rookie averaged 110 yards per game, had 28 carries and seven receptions, finding the end zone three times.

The return of Harris will certainly provide a boost to the Edmonton air attack, however against the Bombers the key to success may still be through the ground game. While Winnipeg has been one of the toughest defensive units on the season, the crack in their armour remains their run defence.

Winnipeg is allowing teams to run for nearly 100 yards per game and is giving up 5.5 yards per carry on the ground. They have also allowed six scores on the ground through their first eight games.

As Edmonton looks for their third win of the season ahead of Thanksgiving, they will be looking for Harris and Wilder Jr. to recreate some of the holiday magic from their win against Calgary on Labour Day.

AFI, Visaic and the CFL

American Football International is collaborating with Visaic and the Canadian Football League to present 2021 CFL games live. This is more than a livestream. This is a stream of the top flight TSN network television broadcast.

Watch the game live here. Edmonton Elks @ Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Oct. 9, 02:30 CET (2:30 am, 8:30 pm ET)

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