Blue Bombers’ receiver Kenny Lawler arrested for impaired driving

Photo courtesy: B.C. Lions/Paul Yates

Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ rising star receiver Kenny Lawler was arrested early Monday morning for impaired driving.

The team released the following statement regarding the incident.

Kenny informed the team today of his arrest for operating a motor vehicle while impaired early this morning. Upon further investigation, the club has suspended Kenny for Friday’s game and has reported the incident to the league office.

We take this incident very seriously and have spoken at length with Kenny throughout the day. Kenny recognizes the seriousness of the situation and that this type of behaviour is unacceptable and inexcusable.

He has agreed to seek assistance as it relates to alcohol abuse, and has cooperated fully with police on the matter.

Lawler is currently the CFL’s leading receiver with 45 receptions for 703 yards and four touchdowns. He set new career-highs in Winnipeg’s victory over the B.C. Lions in Week 9, making 12 receptions for 205 yards and one touchdown in a 30-9 win.

He played 16 games in 2019 and led the Bombers with 637 receiving yards on 41 receptions with four touchdowns. Those numbers helped him earn the Bombers Most Outstanding Rookie honours. Lawler started three playoff games as well adding eight receptions for 126 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown in the West Final victory over the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

The six-foot-three, 195-pound pass catcher first came to Canada with the B.C. Lions in 2018, attending their training camp that season before being released. He was a seventh round, 243rd overall NFL Draft pick by the Seattle Seahawks in 2016 and spent time on their practice squad that year and in 2017.

He played three years with the University of California Golden Bears, catching 143 passes for 1,706 yards and 27 touchdowns, mostly from 2016 No. 1 overall pick, Detroit Lions quarterback, Jared Goff, before turning pro after his junior season.

As per the team’s statement, the 27-year-old has been suspended and will not dress against the Edmonton Elks on Friday in Week 10. It is possible that his replacement will be veteran receiver Naaman Roosvelt, who has spent the past month on the team’s practice roster.

CFL players are not permitted to attend bars or night clubs under the league’s COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. If fully-vaccinated, they are permitted to attend restaurants with fully-vaccinated team members or teammates.

John Hodge is a Canadian football reporter based in Winnipeg.