The Edmonton Elks unveil their name and logo at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, on Tuesday, June 1, 2021. Officials with the Elks say the team has cancelled its scheduled walkthrough and media availability due to COVID-19 protocols.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Two Edmonton Elks players in COVID-19 protocols ahead of season opener

Two Edmonton Elks players in COVID-19 protocols ahead of season opener

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Elks say two players have been placed in COVID-19 protocols and one staff member is isolating at home following a positive test result.

The club’s injury report lists defensive back Brian Walker as out for Saturday’s season opener against the Ottawa Redblacks due to COVID protocols. The second player affected has not been identified.

The Elks said in a release Friday night that a staff member tested positive using a rapid antigen test earlier in the day.

The team said the staff member tested negative using a PCR test on Thursday, and after returning a positive result Friday, was immediately sent home to isolate.

The team also said no other rapid tests came back positive, and that all players, coaches and staff were then given PCR tests. It said results of those tests were expected late Friday or early Saturday.

Edmonton cancelled a scheduled walkthrough and media availability on Friday, but said Saturday’s home game “is not in jeopardy.”

“The impacted players and staff have been removed from the team, and no additional positive tests have been returned,” the club said in a statement.

The cancellation comes days after the league announced its COVID-19 policy.

Under the CFL policy, if a contest is cancelled because of COVID-19 issues and can’t be rescheduled, the club suffering from the COVID-19 issues will forfeit a 1-0 loss. Should both squads have issues, they’ll forfeit the game and be assigned losses.

In either scenario, if a team can prove at least 85 per cent of its players under contract have been vaccinated, at least once, the players will receive their salary for the cancelled game. If that figure falls below 85 per cent, players won’t be paid.

The policy has been criticized by the CFL Players’ Association, which called the policy’s contents “unreasonable.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 6, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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