Cards rookie Christian Kirk turning heads in WR battle

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The Arizona Cardinals‘ search for a No. 2 wide receiver opposite Larry Fitzgerald is getting interesting.

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Rookie Christian Kirk has turned heads, and his four catches for 49 yards and a touchdown performance in Friday night’s 20-15 preseason win over the New Orleans Saints coincides with Kirk’s objective to make an immediate impact.

“That’s for sure the goal,” Kirk said Sunday, via Darren Urban of the Cardinals’ official website. “Anything less than that, I would be wrong if I didn’t have those expectations. I’ve said from Day 1 I wanted to be a primary contributor.”

The 5-foot-11, 200-pound Kirk joined the Cardinalsas a second-round pick (47th overall) out of Texas A&M, where he amassed 2,856 yards receiving and 26 touchdowns.

Noted for his route-running skills in college, Kirk did his damage Friday night out of the slot, which including the 13-yard touchdown and a 21-yard catch, according to Urban. Kirk also provides versatility on special teams, where he has two punt returns for 47 yards through two preseason games.

The rookie’s body of work throughout the offseason and training camp has impressed his head coach.

“I said this a while back — this guy comes to work as a pro every day,” Steve Wilks said, via the Cardinals‘ website. “You watch him in individual work, (he’s) full speed. Special teams, full speed. He creates that mindset of practicing as how he wants to play. It is a great confidence booster for him to have the game that he had.”

The Cardinals have less than a month before the start of the regular season to settle the No. 2 wide receiver position among Kirk, Brice ButlerJ.J. NelsonGreg Little and Chad Williams, among others.

And Kirk wasn’t the only standout from the second preseason game, as Williams hauled in three passes on four targets for 44 yards, averaging 14.7 yards per catch.

But for now, Kirk is doing everything he can to continue making an impact and not concerning himself over who will eventually emerge as the wide receiver opposite Fitzgerald.

“I’m worried about being the best I can be,” Kirk said, via the team’s website. “Seeing Chad and Greg and everyone go out and make plays, it’s all motivation to do better.”

The Cardinals close out the preseason against the Dallas Cowboys on Aug. 26 and Denver Broncos on Aug. 30.