October 17, 2022

Cornelius to miss final game with injury


EDMONTON — The Edmonton Elks announced on Monday that quarterback Taylor Cornelius will miss the final game of the regular season with an injury.

During the team’s Week 19 meeting with the Toronto Argonauts, Cornelius suffered an injury to his spleen and was hospitalized later that evening.

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The Edmonton quarterback remains in hospital for observation and is expected to make a full recovery, but Cornelius will not be in the lineup this week when the Elks conclude their 2022 regular season against the BC Lions from Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday.

Cornelius took over as the starting quarterback for Edmonton in Week 6 of the regular season and started 12 games for the Green and Gold under centre.

In his second season with Edmonton, Cornelius set a new career-high in passing yards and touchdowns as he threw for 2,768 yards and 11 majors, completing 205 of his 357 passing attempts. Cornelius also displayed his ability to extend plays with his legs when the pocket broke down. Through Week 19 Cornelius ranked as the Elks leading rusher, carrying the ball 71 times for 502 yards and a team-high seven rushing touchdowns.

Cornelius has had five games where he has thrown for at least 250 yards this season and three games where he has thrown for multiple touchdowns. On the ground, the Edmonton signal caller had a three-week stretch from Week 14 to Week 17 where he found the end zone with his legs in each of those outings.

His best statistical performance of the season came in Week 14, a game which saw Cornelius complete 71 per cent of his passes for a season-high 292 yards and two touchdown passes, while also finding the end zone with an 11-yard touchdown run.

The Elks organization showed their confidence in the second-year quarterback in mid-September, announcing that they had made the decision to sign Cornelius to a two-year contract extension keeping him in Edmonton until 2024. Following the announcement of the extension, Edmonton assistant general manager Geroy Simon spoke highly of Cornelius, stating the organization’s excitement about the quarterback’s potential.

“Taylor’s a young up-and-coming quarterback,” said Simon. “He is trending in the right direction, so we’re excited about his future with the Edmonton Elks.”

Ahead of the team’s Week 20 matchup with the BC Lions to close out their 2022 season, the Elks will have a decision to make at the pivot spot with rookies Tre Ford and Kai Locksley listed as the team’s remaining two quarterbacks.

Tre Ford, the team’s eighth overall pick in the 2022 CFL Draft, briefly entered the game in relief of Cornelius in Week 19. The Canadian rookie has missed time with a shoulder injury this season, but led the Elks to their first win of the season in a 29-25 Week 4 win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Ford completed 15 of his 26 passing attempts for 159 yards and a touchdown in the win, also adding 61 yards on six carries.

Locksley has proven to be a valuable weapon across multiple positions within the Elks offence and has lined up at quarterback, receivers and has even lined up in the backfield this season. The first-year Elk has attempted eight passes, completing five for 50 yards in Week 7 against Calgary. Locksley has also caught 17 passes for 247 yards, with an additional 114 rushing yards and six scores on the ground.

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