Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Elliott Thankful to Be Back Playing Football Following Grandmother's Death

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Elliott Thankful to Be Back Playing Football Following Grandmother's Death

Article excerpt

Elliott thankful to be back playing football


TORONTO - Kevin Elliott is thankful to be back playing football.

The lanky receiver returns to the Toronto Argonauts' lineup Friday night when they face the Montreal Alouettes at Tim Hortons Field. Elliott missed last weekend's 27-15 loss there to the Calgary Stampeders following the death of his maternal grandmother, Madear.

"I missed my guys, I feel good being back up here," Elliott said following Thursday's practice. "It was good for me to go back home and be with my mom.

"It's always tough because we play football and we want to play in the game but coach Milanovich told me to go home because family always comes first."

There was no question in Milanovich's mind about what Elliott had to do.

"He was asking me what I thought and I just said, 'You need to go,'" he said. "This is important, it's our livelihood and a lot of people depend on what we do here but to me it's not family.

"It was important he be there, he needed to be there."

Elliott has been a big-play receiver in his first season with Toronto. The six-foot-three, 205-pound native of Fayetteville, N.C., has 42 catches for 551 yards but his eight TD grabs leave him tied for third overall among CFL receivers, just two behind teammate and league leader Tori Gurley.

"He's a big part of our offence," Argos quarterback Trevor Harris said. "He's physical, he's a great route runner, he can make people miss in the open field.

"We've found ways to get him the ball and we're just excited to have him back."

But Milanovich said Elliott provides more to Toronto's offence than just another set of strong hands.

"He's extremely physical and plays a position that's difficult to play," Milanovich said. "We also ask him to do a lot in the run game with blocking.

"From a locker room standpoint he's a spark plug for our team, he's an emotional leader. He's got that kind of moxie, that kind of a sense about him our players feed off."

But Elliott said he's been feeding recently off the support he's received from Milanovich, his coaches and teammates.

"It's really reassuring," he said. "It feels really good to know (Milanovich) has my back and my teammates and everyone understood as well and they'll never know what they've done for me and how much they've kept my spirits up. …

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