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Canadian Football League (CFL)

CFL: Almondo Sewell set for Alouttes debut vs. Elks

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Almondo Sewell certainly circled his first game with the Montreal Alouettes on the schedule. Probably in thick black ink.

The longtime CFL star’s initial contest with Montreal just happens to be Saturday night against the host Edmonton Elks. And the tension is evident.

Sewell racked up 60 sacks in eight-plus campaigns in Edmonton, but the defensive tackle departed in the offseason after he felt the club’s contract offer wasn’t up to par. Instead, he signed a two-year deal with the Alouettes.

The 34-year-old Sewell isn’t even looking at Edmonton as his former team. Not after the club dropped the name “Eskimos” due to the term being regarded as derogatory toward Inuit people.

“I never played for the Edmonton Elks,” Sewell told the Montreal Gazette earlier this week. “That’s a whole new organization.

“I’m in Montreal now. I’m in a better situation. I’m somewhere that wants me. That’s all I have to say about that.”

Montreal had a first-week bye, so it is just getting ramped up, while Edmonton (0-1) dropped a 16-12 decision to the visiting Ottawa Redblacks last week.

All the Elks’ scoring came on Sean Whyte’s four field goals. Quarterback Trevor Harris was intercepted three times, with one being returned 102 yards for a touchdown by Ottawa’s Abdul Kanneh.

Harris completed 33 of 44 passes for 333 yards, but his mistakes sabotaged Edmonton’s chance of a victory.

In fact, Sewell delivered a shot at the toughness of Harris, his teammate in 2019.

“You hit him one time, he starts folding,” Sewell told TSN. “We’ll see if it’s the old Trevor.”

Running back James Wilder Jr. stood out in his first game with the Elks. Wilder rushed 15 times for 89 yards and caught nine passes for 72 yards.

Wilder played for the Toronto Argonauts from 2017-19 and was just happy to be back on the football field after the 2020 season was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“It was a lot of knocking the rust off,” Wilder said. “It felt good to get back, it felt good to feel that soreness after the game. It feels good to be grateful and be able to have the game back.”

The Elks allowed just 127 total yards and recorded five sacks in the opening loss.

Now they aim to corral Montreal quarterback Vernon Adams Jr., who passed for 3,942 yards, 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 2019. Adams also rushed for 12 scores.

–Field Level Media

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