Bombers’ Kenny Lawler sets 2,000-yard goal despite missing first six games of CFL season

Courtesy: AP Photo/Larry MacDougal

Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ receiver Kenny Lawler has set an ultra-high personal goal despite missing the first six games of the year as he aims to reach 2,000 yards this season.

“You set goals and you’ve just gotta go out there and continue to try to get to them,” Lawler told the media in Winnipeg. “My goals are set pretty high and will I get to them? We’ll find out. If I fall short, I got next year. Goals are just goals, man. Really the end goal and the goal that we all should be really concerned about is the Grey Cup.”

The native of Pomona, Calif. made seven catches for 93 yards in his season debut before Winnipeg’s bye week, helping the Blue Bombers defeat Edmonton by a score of 28-14. He would have to average 173.4 yards per game over the rest of the season to reach the 2,000-yard mark, which has only been accomplished three times in CFL history.

The six-foot-two, 199-pound target is relishing being back on the field after missing the first third of the season due to an immigration issue that arose after he pled guilty to impaired driving. He has quickly rekindled his chemistry with quarterback Zach Collaros, which was developed during the 2021 season before Lawler departed via free agency for a one-year stint with the Elks.

“I’m just a workhorse. We come to practice ready to work. It’s just work, work, work. If you’re not trying to work, you shouldn’t be on this team,” said Lawler. “Me and Zach have a great relationship. We talk in the locker room, we talk out of the locker room and whatever he wants, I’m gonna give it to him to the best of my abilities and I believe I’m very confident in my abilities.”

Allen Pitts, Terry Greer, and Derrell Mitchell are the only players in CFL history to eclipse the 2,000-yard receiving mark in a single season. The Blue Bombers’ single-season record is held by Milt Stegall, who recorded 1,862 receiving yards in 1998, which remains good for fifth all-time league-wide.

Winnipeg’s offence sputtered during the club’s first meeting with the B.C. Lions earlier this season in a 30-6 loss on June 22. Lawler is anxious to get his first shot at the west coast team on Thursday and test their stingy defence, which ranks first league-wide in net yardage allowed, points allowed, passing yardage allowed, and opponent quarterback rating this season.

“I’m a competitor, I don’t have to keep continuing to say it. I’m just up for the challenge. We’ve got a good B.C. Lions team over there, some people are saying it’s the most experienced defensive back-half in the league. Well, you know what? I’m ready for it. That’s who I want to face, so I’m pretty sure when they come here, we’re gonna get their best efforts and it’s gonna be a good game.”

The Blue Bombers (5-2) are scheduled to host the B.C. Lions (6-1) on Thursday, Aug. 3 with kickoff slated for 8:30 p.m. EDT.