Keith Kirkwood

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/19/20

We’ll keep track of today’s “minor” moves here:

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Green Bay Packers

Miami Dolphins

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Re-signed: WR Bryant Mitchell

Washington Redskins

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/4/19

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Indianapolis Colts

  • Reverted to season-ending IR after 21-day activation window closed: WR Devin Funchess

New Orleans Saints

San Francisco 49ers

Saints Designate WR Keith Kirkwood To Return From IR

The Saints have designated wide receiver Keith Kirkwood to return from injured reserve, according to Katherine Terrell of (Twitter link).

Kirkwood, 25, suffered a hamstring injury in mid-September that knocked him to the sideline. He’s now returned to practice, opening a 21-day window during which New Orleans must either activate Kirkwood to its 53-man roster or leave him on IR for the remainder of the year.

A 2018 undrafted free agent out of Temple, Kirkwood spent the first half of his rookie campaign on the Saints’ practice squad before being promoted. He went on to play 44% of New Orleans’ remaining offensive snaps, posting 13 receptions for 209 yards and two touchdowns in the process.

The Saints’ wide receiver corps has mostly been a one-man show thus far in 2019 — Michael Thomas leads the club with 86 receptions, while Ted Ginn is second among wideouts with just 20. Kirkwood should factor in as back-of-the-roster depth while also playing on special teams.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/17/19

Here are Tuesday’s minor moves:

Detroit Lions

Los Angeles Chargers

New Orleans Saints

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Saints Place Dez Bryant On IR

The bad news coming out of New Orleans on Friday turned out to be true. Dez Bryant did tear an Achilles’ tendon, Adam Schefter of tweets. Bryant’s rehab timeline is tentatively set at eight months, per Schefter.

The Saints are placing their recently acquired wide receiver on IR, per Nick Underhill of The Advocate (on Twitter). They will end up promoting a wideout from their practice squad, with Underhill tweeting Keith Kirkwood will make the move up to the 53-man roster. This move was expected prior to Bryant’s injury, per Underhill (on Twitter).

New Orleans previously housed only three healthy wideouts — Michael Thomas, Tre’Quan Smith and Austin Carr. Bryant, who was a member of this healthy contingent for less than two days, joins Ted Ginn, Tommylee Lewis and Cameron Meredith on the Saints’ IR list. Although, Lewis has resumed practicing and could be activated soon.

This development, interestingly, shouldn’t affect the Saints too much, which is rare for a sequence featuring a high-profile player going down. They’ve won seven straight games and were betting Bryant could provide a boost of some sort. But the Saints have a top-10 offense that will take the field in Cincinnati featuring the same cast that spearheaded a 45-35 win over the Rams last week.

Bryant’s trajectory, obviously, has been significantly altered after going down on the final play of his second Saints practice.

Instead of going into free agency on the heels of being a cog in a Drew Brees-led passing attack, he’ll have a months-long rehab effort to complete before being ready to contribute again. He won’t be ready by the time the new league year begins and may have to wait deep into the 2019 offseason to sign.

Bryant’s most recent work sample, a 16-game season with the 2017 Cowboys, featured his fewest yards per game (52.4) since his rookie season. This injury certainly won’t have teams aggressively pursuing him. It’s a brutal blow for a player who spent months as an outspoken free agent and one who hoped to have a better shot at cashing in next year.

Kirkwood has yet to play an NFL down. He played at Hawaii and Temple from 2013-17, finishing his career with back-to-back 600-yard receiving seasons, totaling 11 aerial touchdowns in those years.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

South Rumors: Luck, Bucs, Saints, Texans

The Colts have their franchise centerpiece ready to resume his career after a hiatus so long it had many concerned his NFL days were over. But not everyone’s buying into Andrew Luck being able to pick up where he left off.

Have you watched the guy play? Go back and watch him pre-injury…like 2015. Now watch him today. His throwing motion is completely changed, and he has no deep velocity,” an AFC offensive assistant coach said, via Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller. “His entire game has changed. I bet he’ll be Checkdown Charlie. Like Alex Smith but afraid to get hit.”

An AFC South assistant, per Miller, doubted the Colts’ offensive line can protect Luck. That was an issue for the team when its 28-year-old quarterback was last healthy. Colts scouts and execs are obviously more bullish on Luck being ready to resume his trajectory.

The last time y’all saw Andrew, he threw for 4,200 yards with a (messed) up shoulder and a bad offensive line,” a “high-level” Colts executive told Miller. “Just wait.”

Continuing with some additional Colts news, here’s the latest from the South divisions:

  • Both Anthony Castonzo and Marlon Mack returned to Colts practice this week, per’s Mike Wells and’s Ian Rapoport (Twitter links). Castonzo injured his hamstring before training camp and re-aggravated it in the first week of August. He missed nearly a month of work but is optimistic he can still play in Week 1, the Indianapolis Star’s Zak Keefer tweets. Mack missed almost a month of work as well because of a hamstring issue. He’s Indianapolis’ projected running back starter, but his status for the opener is also up in the air.
  • Both the Buccaneers and Saints paid premiums to sign certain practice squad players. Tampa Bay went well above the minimum $7.6K-per-week wages to add linebacker Azeem Victor, agreeing to pay him $28K per week, Tom Pelissero of tweets. The Saints are paying wide receiver Keith Kirkwood that amount as well, per Pelissero. Kirkwood is a rookie UDFA out of Temple who went to Saints camp, while Victor was sixth-round Raiders pick in April.
  • While Luke Kuechly and Shaq Thompson are expected to handle three-down work for the Panthers, David Mayo will start in place of the suspended Thomas Davis, DC Eric Washington said (via Joe Person of The Athletic, on Twitter). Mayo’s a 2015 sixth-round pick who’s started one game in his three previous Panther seasons.
  • The Texans worked out both Charles Sims and Akeem Hunt on Thursday, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle notes (on Twitter). While Sims is a former regular on Buccaneers passing downs, Hunt’s workout went well, Wilson tweets, adding no deal is imminent. The Texans will be without D’Onta Foreman for the first third of the season. Alfred Blue, third-year back Tyler Ervin and recent waiver claim Gregory Howell are on Houston’s roster behind starter Lamar Miller.