3 Panthers players who can earn roster spots in preseason Week 2

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Keith Kirkwood
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Keith Kirkwood /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Keith Kirkwood /

Keith Kirkwood – Carolina Panthers WR

The wide receiver room is crowded. Anyone looking to make the team has their work cut out now that Shi Smith looks like a lock to be included after an outstanding offseason so far.

This makes life difficult for someone like Keith Kirkwood. However, the wideout has generated some positive momentum of his own throughout the summer and a top performance at the Washington Commanders gave the coaching staff more food for thought regarding his status.

Kirkwood’s misfortune last year was well documented. The Panthers kept him on the fringes, but he was always facing an uphill battle after missing a large portion of camp following a brutal hit by J.T. Ibe that famously saw the safety cut on the spot.

The Temple product is another former college player of Matt Rhule’s and has some nice assets to call upon. His physicality at the line of scrimmage often stands out and the player’s soft hands makes him a dependable target in key situations.

Gaining targets with so many prolific pass-catchers in Carolina is a tough task. But considering Kirkwood’s outlook before camp began, he’s in a pretty good position all things considered.

Much will depend on whether the likes of D.J. Moore and Robbie Anderson participate on Friday evening. If they aren’t risked, then Kirkwood could get a large share of targets from whoever is under center.

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