The New Orleans Saints announced today that they have signed DB DaMarcus Fields to the active roster from the practice squad and have signed WR Keith Kirkwood to the practice squad. The announcement was made by Saints Executive Vice President/General Manager Mickey Loomis.
Fields, 6-0, 200, originally signed with the team as an undrafted free agent out of Texas Tech and after spending the first two weeks of the season on the practice squad, he made his regular season debut in the team's contest at Carolina on Sunday, where he contributed on special teams.
Fields was a five-year letterman for Texas Tech, who played in 55 contests and started a school-record 49 career games in college and ended his Red Raider career with 224 tackles (182 solo), 13.5 tackles for loss, four interceptions, four fumble recoveries, four forced fumbles and 45 passes defended. He was ranked second among FBS players at the end of the season for career passes defended. The Taylor, Texas native's 45 passes defended marked the most for a Red Raider over his career dating back to 2000. In 2021, he played in 12 games with 11 starts and totaled 50 tackles (41 solo) at cornerback, including four that went for a loss and also recorded one fumble recovery and a team‐leading 11 pass breakups, earning second-team All-Big 12 recognition. In 2020, he played in eight games with six starts in a college season abbreviated by COVID-19 and totaled 31 tackles (28 solo) on the year, including one that went for a loss, to go along with a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a team‐leading 11 pass breakups, as he earned conference honorable mention honors in a vote by coaches.
Kirkwood, 6-3, 210, was originally signed by New Orleans as an undrafted free agent out of Temple in 2018. The fourth-year pro has played in 13 regular season games with one start for New Orleans (2018-19) and Carolina (2020-21) and has career totals of 17 receptions for 239 yards (14.1 avg.) with two touchdowns.
The Neptune, N.J. native was activated from the practice squad midway through his rookie season and posted 13 receptions for 209 yards (16.1 avg.) with two touchdowns in eight games with one start, adding another touchdown grab in the NFC Divisional Playoff win over Philadelphia. In 2021, Kirkwood was activated from the practice squad to the active roster for three contests with the Panthers, where he posted three receptions for 17 yards. In the 2022 preseason with Carolina, he posted five receptions for 69 yards.
Kirkwood played three seasons at Temple after transferring from the University of Hawaii in 2015 and finished his college career with 103 receptions for 1,638 yards (15.9 avg.) and 16 touchdowns. In 2017, he played in 13 games with 12 starts and recorded 45 receptions for 671 yards and seven touchdowns, as he was a Jason Witten College Man of the Year semifinalist, wrapping up his college career with six receptions for 96 yards in a Gasparilla Bowl victory for the Owls. In 2016, Kirkwood played in 14 games and posted 42 receptions for 648 yards and four touchdowns.