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Cardinals WR Christian Kirk expresses optimism for OTA return

FILE - In this Nov. 18, 2018, file photo, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk (13) runs for a touchdown after a catch against the Oakland Raiders during the first half of an NFL football game in Glendale, Ariz. Kirk broke a foot in a game Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, at Green Bay and is out for the season. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

The Arizona Cardinals learned one wide receiver will be returning for 2019 when Larry Fitzgerald re-signed with the team Wednesday.

They’re hopeful another the other productive WR from last year, Christian Kirk, will also be returning sooner rather than later. He broke his foot Week 13 against the Green Bay Packers and was placed on the injured reserve list.

“I’m feeling great,” he told 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Burns & Gambo on Wednesday. “Recovery’s going well, just being patient and making sure all aspects of my body’s 100 percent when I step back on the field during OTAs.”

That optimism that he’ll be healthy for OTAs echoes what then-head coach Steve Wilks said after the injury occurred, that there would be “no setback for 2019.”

Kirk told Cover 2 of the Cardinals website that he’s ahead of the curve in his recovery process.

Last year, Cardinals OTAs began on May 15. The starting day for 2019 has not been announced, but if it’s around the same time, he will have had a little more than five months to recover.

The health of his foot is vital. Kirk has a skill set predicated on speed and the ability to break away from a defender on routes and punt returns.

He led the team in receiving yards before getting injured, finishing the season second to Fitzgerald in yards (590) and third in receptions (43), behind Fitzgerald and running back David Johnson.

Under head coach Kliff Kingsbury, who is thought to be an offensive innovator, Kirk could have opportunities to blossom in year two.

“We’re going to put our skill players, our playmakers all over the field and try to get those matchups that give defenses problems,” Kirk said.

Despite Kingsbury’s propensity for the Air Raid offense, Kirk thinks there will be a balance between the pass and run game.

“A lot of people are thinking that we’re just going to be five-wide and be in shotgun the whole the time, but i know we’re going to be very balanced,” he said. We’re going to establish a run game with David (Johnson) and be able to do multiple things with him and then just be able to open up everything outside for us.”

Of course, the presence of Fitzgerald will also help the 22-year-old receiver take strides in the right direction.

“That’s all I was hoping for, was to get another year under my belt with him and get to learn and shadow from him and just keep following in his footsteps,” Kirk said to Cover 2. “We have a bunch of unfinished business.”

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