Top receiver Kenny Lawler returns to Elks’ lineup versus Montreal

Photo: Paul Swanson/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

The Edmonton Elks will have a little extra firepower when they take to the field against the Montreal Alouettes on Saturday, with star receiver Kenny Lawler officially slated to make his return to the lineup.

Lawler was placed on the six-game injured list after an ankle injury suffered in Week 12, but has been practicing since last week and is ready to help the Elks cling to their slim playoff hopes.

The receiver originally signed with Edmonton as a free agent this past offseason, becoming the league’s highest-paid non-quarterback with a contract valued at over $300,000. He has lived up to the billing thus far and sat tied for second in the CFL at the time of his injury with 849 receiving yards on 56 receptions while adding five touchdowns.

The 28-year-old broke out with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 2021, recording 64 receptions for a league-leading 1,014 yards with six touchdowns in 13 regular season games. He averaged 78 yards per game, 15.8 yards per catch, and had a league-best 10 plays of 30 yards or more while helping the team win the 108th Grey Cup.

The six-foot-three, 197-pound pass-catcher played 16 games in 2019 and led the Blue and Gold with 637 receiving yards on 41 receptions with four touchdowns. Those numbers helped him earn Winnipeg’s award for Most Outstanding Rookie. Lawler started three playoff games, adding eight receptions for 126 yards and one touchdown as Winnipeg won the 107th Grey Cup.

A former seventh-round pick by the NFL’s New York Jets, the Cal product first came to Canada with the B.C. Lions in 2018. Lawler attended training camp that year but was released prior to the start of the regular season.

Edmonton (4-10) is scheduled to host Montreal (6-7) on Saturday, October 1 at 4:00 p.m. EDT. They have not won a game at Commonwealth Stadium since 2019.