Kristian Wilkerson made an immediate impact for the New England Patriots in his first NFL start.
The 24-year-old wide receiver was elevated from the practice squad for Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He took the place of third-year wideout N'Keal Harry, who was a healthy scratch for the Week 17 matchup.
Wilkerson, who went undrafted in 2020, made his presence felt in the first half with three catches for 22 yards and his first career touchdown.
With that TD grab, Wilkerson tallied more catches in a game (three) than Harry has had all season (two). NFL Twitter couldn't help but point out the obvious improvement for the Pats offense that resulted from choosing Wilkerson over the 2019 first-round draft pick.
Wilkerson found the end zone again on the Patriots' opening drive of the second half.
Harry simply hasn't panned out for the Patriots, and his struggles may have reached a tipping point with last week's key drop vs. the Buffalo Bills. If Wilkerson continues to prove himself as a valuable weapon for rookie quarterback Mac Jones, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him take Harry's spot on the postseason roster.
The Patriots will wrap up their regular season next Sunday in Miami.