John Hendrix of the Saints News Network reports that the New Orleans Saints are signing WR Keith Kirkwood to their practice squad on Wednesday morning. Kirkwood made the trip with the team to London, where the Saints will face the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
Kirkwood, 27, played for New Orleans from 2018 to 2019. He was an undrafted rookie out of Temple in 2018 after transferring from Hawaii. As a rookie with the Saints, Kirkwood appeared in nine games and caught 15 passes for 217 yards and three touchdowns.
Battling a hamstring injury in 2019, Kirkwood appeared in just one game for the Saints before going on season-ending injured reserve. He’d sign a free-agent deal with the Carolina Panthers in 2020, reuniting him with his college coach, Matt Rhule.
Kirkwood played the last two seasons with Carolina, catching four passes for 30 yards in four games of action. He was released by the Panthers at the end of training camp this preseason.
At 6’3” and 210-Lbs., Kirkwood is a physical possession receiver who can play both outside and from the slot. He is most effective down the seam and the middle of the field, while also being a good blocker at the position.
The 1-2 Saints have lost two consecutive games. Wideouts Michael Thomas, Jarvis Landry, and Tre'Quan Smith all left last week's loss to Carolina with injuries. All three players should be available this Sunday, but their practice status during the week is worth monitoring. Deonte Harty is also dealing with a foot injury that sidelined him last Sunday.
Kirkwood joins wideouts Kirk Merritt and Rashid Shaheed on the Saints practice squad. Any of the three could be called up if Thomas, Landry, or Smith are unable to play.
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