Christian Kirk truthers are trembling with fear. Not only has he been a frequent disappointment through his first three years, but the Cardinals drafted a potential replacement for him in rookie Rondale Moore. They also added A.J. Green in free agency. How can Kirk possibly push his stats over the 70-catch, 710-yard barrier if he's sharing targets now more than ever? Let someone else draft Kirk.
The Cardinals' pecking order at wide receiver appears wide open after DeAndre Hopkins, with Kirk, A.J. Green, Rondale Moore, Andy Isabella and KeeSean Johnson all in the mix to earn roles, NFL.com's Adam Maya reports. The Green signing hints at Kirk getting more slot work, especially if Larry Fitzgerald remains a free agent or signs with a new team. A move inside could reinvigorate Kirk's career, but there will also be more competition for playing time if he struggles this summer. The 2018 second-round pick has missed multiple games each year in the NFL, and he's yet to top 709 receiving yards in a season. Moore, in particular, could be a threat to Kirk's role, with the second-round pick out of Purdue boasting 4.28 speed.
The Cardinals activated Kirk (undisclosed) from the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports. Kirk previously missed Arizona's loss to the Rams in Week 17 due to his placement on the list. The Cardinals didn't earn a postseason berth, but Kirk will now be free to return to team facilities for meetings and offseason workouts. Over 14 regular-season games in 2020, Kirk secured 48 of 79 targets for 621 yards and six touchdowns.
Kirk was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday and won't play in Sunday's game against the Rams. It's unclear whether Kirk tested the positive or was deemed a high-risk close contact. This is a major loss for the Cardinals as they look to keep their playoff hopes alive. Larry Fitzgerald (groin) is also questionable and trending toward a game-time decision. KeeSean Johnson, Trent Sherfield and Andy Isabella could all see increased usage in the season finale.
Kirk caught seven of 10 targets for 76 yards during Saturday's 20-12 loss to the 49ers. Kirk led the team in receiving yardage while notching a new season high in receptions. He ripped off a 38-yard gain, which was his longest in seven games, and was unfortunate to miss out on a poorly thrown end-zone target in the fourth quarter. Kirk had totaled just 68 yards on 10 receptions over the last four games, so this performance was surely a welcome sight for the Cardinals. His productivity should be crucial in next Sunday's matchup with the Rams.
Kirk notched three catches (on four targets) for 33 yards during Sunday's 33-26 win against the Eagles. After DeAndre Hopkins' 11 targets, Kyler Murray wasn't afraid to use any and all Cardinals skill-position player, with five of them seeing at least three targets and nine total getting looked at one or more times by the QB. Spreading the ball around didn't benefit many others aside from Hopkins, who recorded a TD along with Larry Fitzgerald and Chase Edmonds. Kirk himself hasn't reached the end zone since making six visits in five games between Weeks 4 and 9, and he also hasn't surpassed 50 receiving yards in six consecutive contests. As a result, he's tough to trust for the stretch run of the campaign.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|4||10/03||@Los Angeles Rams||1||16.67|
|5||10/10||San Francisco 49ers||15||21.50|
|8||10/28||Green Bay Packers||6||19.56|
|9||11/07||@San Francisco 49ers||15||21.50|
|14||12/13||Los Angeles Rams||1||16.67|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||85||53||640||4||27||12.08||92|