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Cardinals’ Christian Kirk makes return, David Johnson out for Week 8

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

After working to get back from an ankle injury over the course of the last few weeks, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Christian Kirk is back in the lineup against the New Orleans Saints.

Though he’s played just four games this season, Kirk remains one of the top receiving threats on the team. While he hasn’t found the end zone, Kirk sits in third in yards (242) and receptions (24) among Cardinals pass catchers.

Not taking the field, however, is starting running back David Johnson. The RB did not practice the entire week with an ankle issue.

Johnson may miss more than just Week 8, with ESPN’s Adam Schefter reporting late Saturday night that Johnson would also be on the shelf for the team’s Thursday night matchup with the San Francisco 49ers.

Johnson, who was active against the New York Giants yet saw just three snaps, will officially miss his first game of the year. Even with both ankle and back issues this season, Johnson has still been a factor in the offense, recording 300 yards and two scores on 77 carries. He paces all rushers in yards and carries and trails only backup Chase Edmonds in rushing touchdowns (4). In the passing game, Johnson’s caught 30 of his 41 targets for 315 yards and three scores. He trails only WR Larry Fitzgerald in receptions (36), targets (55) and yards (439).

Johnson joins newly signed running back Alfred Morris, RB D.J. Foster, DL Zach Allen, WR KeeSean Johnson, OL Lamont Gaillard and DL Michael Dogbe on the list of inactives.

In place of Johnson and Morris, Edmonds will carry the load, with recently signed Zach Zenner serving as the backup.

On the other side of the football, the Cardinals defense receives an added boost with linebackers Jordan Hicks and Haason Reddick back in the fold.

Hicks registered the team’s first interception against the Giants in Week 7, and leads all Arizona defenders in tackles (69). The LB also has three passes defensed, 0.5 sacks, five tackles for loss and two forced fumbles.

Not far behind him is Reddick.

The three-year pro ranks second in tackles (52), while recording one sack, four passes defensed and a fumble recovery in seven games.

Joining the duo on defense are linebackers Dennis Gardeck and Ezekiel Turner, who both entered Week 8 as questionable.

For the Saints, starting running back Alvin Kamara, tight end Jared Cook, cornerback Patrick Robinson and wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith are out, while quarterback Drew Brees is officially active for the first time since Week 2.

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