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Recovered Roughriders look for season sweep of Elks

Aug 26, 2022; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback Cody Fajardo (7) looks to pass against the BC Lions in the second half at BC Place. Mandatory Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

The Saskatchewan Roughriders will be out to complete a sweep of their three-game season series with the visiting Edmonton Elks on Friday night in Regina.

Both teams are coming off huge losses. The Roughriders (6-7) were hit by a virus that spread through the team when they lost 54-20 to the host Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Saturday.

The Elks (3-10) lost their 14th straight home game on Saturday, 56-28 to the Calgary Stampeders.

After a 4-1 start, Saskatchewan is in a 2-6 tailspin. During their skid, the Roughriders did defeat the Elks 34-23 in Edmonton on Aug. 13. The Roughriders previously beat the Elks 26-16 on June 18, also in Edmonton.

Kooper Richardson, one of the many Saskatchewan players affected by the virus on Saturday, started at right guard and played the entire game.

“I’ve been around football all my life and I’ve never seen anything like that, and I was getting an IV 40 minutes before the game,” Richardson said. “I got it on game day so I was in the middle of the sickness when the game started. It was a crazy way to get your first start.”

Mario Alford returned the second-half kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown despite being ill.

“During the play I was fine,” Alford said. “It mostly hit me when I wasn’t moving around and I felt terrible after the game. I fought through it like a lot of us did.”

Taylor Cornelius, signed to a two-year extension on Wednesday, will start at quarterback for the Elks on Friday.

“He’s done some very good things, he’s protected the football decently at times and he understands the importance of protecting the football,” Elks coach Chris Jones said. “His quarterback rating over the last couple weeks in completion percentage is up. So, he’s got all the skills.”

Elks linebacker Mark McLaurin (knee) is listed as out for Friday.

The Roughriders will be without defensive lineman Anthony Lanier (head), offensive lineman Terran Vaughn (non-football related), defensive back Godfrey Onyeka (shoulder), linebacker Justin Herdman-Reed (shoulder) and offensive lineman Dan Clark (ankle).

–Field Level Media