Kirkwood showed promise as a rookie in 2018, catching 13 passes for 209 yards and two scores -- including four catches of at least 20 yards and not including another score he corralled in the Saints' divisional-round victory over Philadelphia. The undrafted Temple product unfortunately strained his calf during that game against the Eagles, though, and he was consequently unable to practice all week ahead of the NFC Championship Game against Los Angeles. However, Kirkwood's quick return to workouts suggests the aforementioned strain won't affect his availability for New Orleans' offseason workout program this spring.
Kirkwood (calf) has been ruled out for Sunday's NFC Championship Game against the Rams.
Kirkwood was unable to practice all week due to a calf injury, which will sideline him for the Saints' biggest outing of the season to date. With the undrafted rookie out of commission, the offense will rely on Ted Ginn, Tre'Quan Smith, Tommylee Lewis and perhaps even Austin Carr to round out the receiving corps behind top option Michael Thomas.
Kirkwood (calf) was held out of practice Thursday, Josh Katzenstein of The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.
In the second half of the campaign, Kirkwood has worked his way into the wideout rotation, culminating with a season-high 69 percent of the offensive snaps during the Saints' divisional-round win against the Eagles. The team's training staff may be exercising caution with the undrafted rookie, but his listing on Friday's injury report will be interesting to note as New Orleans prepares to host the Rams in the NFC Championship Game.
Kirkwood was listed as a non-participant on Wednesday's practice report due to a calf injury, Mike Triplett of ESPN.com reports.
Kirkwood has been a regular presence in the Saints offense since Week 10, but aside from three visits to the end zone across nine contests, including in the divisional-round win against the Eagles, he hasn't made much of an impact in the box score. The undrafted rookie has two more chances to prove the health of his calf prior to Sunday's NFC Championship Game versus the Rams.
Kirkwood had 13 catches on 21 targets for 209 yards and two touchdowns in eight games in 2018.
An undrafted free agent from Temple, Kirkwood impressed the Saints coaching staff during training camp but was unable to crack the team's active roster. The rookie receiver spent the first half of the season on the Saints' practice squad, but upon being first activated in Week 10, Kirkwood immediately took over as the team's primary slot receiver. While his final statistics were nothing special, Kirkwood has good size at 6-foot-3 and the trust of Drew Brees and the Saints coaches, as he averaged 36 snaps per game in Weeks 15 and 16. With the team limiting his playing time in the meaningless Week 17 finale, it's clear that the Saints view him as an important piece to their title hopes and perhaps a key cog in their 2019 receiving corps.
|2018||New Orleans Saints||8||1||13||209||16.1||42||2||4||1||10|
|2018||New Orleans Saints||8||2||2.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|