PFF: Jaguars WR Christian Kirk in for ‘bounce-back’ 2024 season

After he missed the final five games of the 2023 season, Jaguars wide receiver Christian Kirk is due to remind observers how valuable he is to Jacksonville’s offense in 2024, at least according to Pro Football Focus.

PFF analyst Bradley Locker named Kirk among his 32 “bounce-back” candidates across the NFL entering the 2024 campaign, making one choice for each team.

From 2021 to 2022, Kirk racked up 161 catches and 2,090 yards, both of which ranked 18th in that span. But his production dipped last year because of an abdominal tear and subsequent further core injury.

Through two years of playing in Jacksonville, it’s clear Kirk has [Jaguars quarterback] Trevor Lawrence’s trust. Kirk’s 218 targets are the second most on the team over the past two years. Even with the additions of [wide receivers] Brian Thomas Jr. and Gabe Davis, it seems likely that Kirk could have a big 2024, especially given uncertainties about the rookie and the newly signed veteran.

The 787 receiving yards Kirk accumulated until he suffered his Week 13 injury led the Jaguars at that point. He finished the season as Jacksonville’s third-most targeted pass-catcher, logging 85 targets.

However, in the first quarter of Jacksonville’s Monday Night Football matchup with Cincinnati, Kirk suffered a torn left adductor and aggravated a right abdominal injury he had previously played through on the same play, leading to his removal from the lineup and placement on season-ending injured reserve.

Through 29 games, all starts, with the Jaguars since signing a four-year, $72 million contract with the team two offseasons ago, Kirk has compiled 141 receptions for 1,895 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Kirk returned to the gridiron in an official capacity Monday when Jacksonville held its first offseason team activity.

“He looks healthy, he looks strong. No setbacks with him so, he’s right on track doing everything,” Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson noted of Kirk before the workout. “He looks really good.”

Additionally, PFF chose former Jacksonville wide receiver Zay Jones as Arizona’s candidate to bounce back in 2024. Jones signed with the Cardinals after his April release by the Jaguars, following two seasons with the club.

Jones appeared in nine games with the Jaguars in 2023 while dealing with multiple injuries. He caught 34 passes for 321 yards and two touchdowns last season, after reaching single-season career-highs of 82 receptions for 823 yards in 2022.

Story originally appeared on Jaguars Wire