Edmonton Elks forced into O-line shuffle – Edmonton

Over the past two weeks, the Edmonton Elks have seen their offensive line play a reluctant game of musical chairs.

Last week, starting center David Beard missed the Elks’ 30-12 win over the Ottawa Redblacks as he entered COVID-19 protocol after practice on Day 3 on Wednesday.

Mark Korte moved from right guard to center while Tomas Jack-Kurdyla was inserted into the lineup to take Korte’s place at right guard.

This week, Beard is back, which will put Korte back in his usual spot. Tony Washington is now on the shelf with a neck injury and is out for Saturday’s rematch with the Redblacks on The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium.

Washington was injured late in last Friday’s win at Ottawa. Martez Ivey went from right tackle to left tackle. Ivey will start at left tackle with Andrew Garnett starting at right tackle.

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Elks head coach Chris Jones said the reshuffle has been difficult, especially for offensive coordinator Stephen McAdoo.

« We’ve had guys in and off the roster and it’s tough for Mac who likes to have his set five in there, » Jones said. “Our backup guys did a really good job of stepping in.

“I thought 64 (Jack-Kurdyla) did a really good job coming in and doing what he needed to do. And Korte, moving from guard to center, made all the right calls and got us in the right shields.

Ivey will start at left tackle on Saturday. He came to the CFL late last season with the Toronto Argonauts and played against the Elks and in the East Final against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

He’s played eight games this season for the Elks – all starts and all at good tackle. Ivey, who played varsity ball at Florida, said the switch to left tackle wouldn’t concern him.

“I started off as a left tackle, so the real transition for me was going from left tackle to right tackle,” Ivey said.

« In Florida, I played on the left. (In) the NFL and XFL, I played on the left. I like to live on the left side.

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Six-foot-five, 325-pound Andrew Garnett will start at right tackle on Saturday. He was signed by the Elks on August 3 after a short stint with the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals.

Garnett played at Towson University with Elks linebacker/finisher and 2020 CFL third-round pick Malik Tyne.

Garnett has been on the Elks’ training roster and said coming in mid-season was a challenge.

« I’m still working, learning the playbook and knowing everyone’s name, » he said. “It’s been three weeks but I still feel like it’s a great group and everyone has been very welcoming.

« There’s a standard that’s definitely there and I want to keep it and not let people say, ‘Oh, the new one. « »

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Saturday will also be Garnett’s first professional game, and Jones hopes he can perform on a big stage.

« It’s a big day for him and a big opportunity, » Jones said. « He has worked extremely hard and is extremely strong, so we are looking forward to what he will bring to our football team. »

Saturday’s kickoff between the Elks and Redblacks is at 5 p.m. on Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium. 630 CHED will have live coverage from Countdown to kick off at 3:30 p.m.

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