The Winnipeg Blue Bombers' offense looks to shift into a higher gear Saturday night against the host Edmonton Elks.
This is the first of three meetings in four weeks for the CFL West Division rivals, who meet again in Winnipeg on Oct. 8 and back in Edmonton on Oct. 15 during this condensed 14-game season.
The Blue Bombers (5-1) have won three straight. They rank third in the league in scoring offense (21.0 points per game) and lead the CFL with 15 touchdowns, but the focus this week was on the points they left on the field.
"Our goal in the offensive room is to end every drive with some offensive points," Winnipeg wide receiver Nic Demski told reporters after practice Wednesday. "Until we can do that drive in, drive out, we feel like there's more to accomplish."
Demski caught five balls for 134 yards in last Saturday's 33-9 Banjo Bowl win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Zach Collaros passed for 278 yards and two touchdowns and Sean McGuire ran for three scores.
The Elks (2-3) placed starting quarterback Trevor Harris on the six-game injured list with a neck injury Thursday. Taylor Cornelius will start against Winnipeg, according to reports.
The Elks' offense was limited to three field goals in last Saturday's 32-16 loss to the Calgary Stampeders. Harris threw for 221 yards with an interception just five days after he passed for 398 yards and four touchdowns in a 32-20 win at Calgary on Labour Day.
The difference this time was that the Elks allowed seven sacks Saturday, something offensive lineman Matt O'Donnell took personally.
"Up front it starts and ends with us ... and we didn't do a good job keeping Trevor clean," O'Donnell told the Edmonton Sun. "... We're pretty pissed off about it. We have a great team coming in this week and we have to put up or shut up."
The offensive line could get a lift from the return of SirVincent Rogers, who is eligible to come off the six-game injured list after testing positive for COVID-19 during Week 1.
Edmonton is 0-3 at home this season, held to 16 or fewer points in each of those contests at Commonwealth Stadium.
Edmonton defensive lineman Kwaku Boateng (leg) did not participate in practice Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. For Winnipeg, running back Andrew Harris (calf) and defensive lineman Willie Jefferson (ankle) were limited on Thursday. Wide receivers Darvin Adams (shoulder) and Demski (hip) were limited Wednesday but upgraded to full participants Thursday.
--Field Level Media