Alouettes receiver Watkins hangs up cleats

MONTREAL – Kerry Watkins, the second-leading receiver in Montreal Alouettes history, announced his retirement Tuesday.

The eight-year veteran registered 515 career catches for 7,431 yards and 48 touchdowns. He leaves Montreal second on the club’s all-time receiving list behind slotback Ben Cahoon (1,017 catches)

“We congratulate Kerry for a fantastic career and thank him for helping us build such a successful football team,” general manager Jim Popp said in a statement.

Watkins helped Montreal capture consecutive Grey Cup wins in 2009 and 2010.

Watkins had five straight 1,000-yard receiving seasons (2005-’09) . He finished with 970 yards in 2010 despite missing five games due to injury.

Watkins’ best season came in 2005 when he registered 97 catches for 1,364 yards, both career highs. That season, he was one of four Alouettes receivers to crack the 1,000-yard mark, joining Cahoon, Terry Vaughn and Dave Stala.

Injuries limited Watkins to just 31 catches for 395 yards and three TDs last season. He missed the early part of the 2011 campaign with sinus problems before suffering a fractured right fibula against in a game Oct. 30.

Watkins was named a CFL all-star twice (2005, ’09).

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