Speaking of injuries, Bengals faithful will have to continue to wait to see the debut of this year’s first overall draft pick, Dre Kirkpatrick. Kirkpatrick as been shelved since early on in the off season and was slated to start this week against the Colts. However, he suffered a minor setback in the form of tendinitis and will be forced to miss yet another preseason game. More than likely, since Kirkpatrick has missed most to all of contact drills this off season, he will not see any significant action until a few weeks into the regular season.
Also recovering from injuries are corner backs, Adam Jones and Jason Allen. It is hopeful that they will both be ready for the season opener. Coming along nicely is Rey Maualuga, the club’s starting middle linebacker, who should not miss any regular season time. Also, Carlos Dunlap, who wanted to claim the starting defensive end role this season is ahead of schedule in his rehab, and his running mate, Robert Geathers will be ready to go soon as well. Expect most or all of these players to be ready to go, even in limited action for the start of the regular season.
On the offensive side of the ball, Jermaine Gresham is coming along nicely after a slight injury in the last preseason game and will be ready to start week one. BenJarvus Green-Ellis will still be resting his sore foot as a precaution, but there is no indication from the club that he will miss any time during the regular season. Fellow running back, Bernard Scott has a different story. He has been plagued by injury for most of training camp and the preseason and has yet to see any action. He will most likely miss the first couple of weeks of the regular season. Green-Ellis should have an increased workload at that time and could possibly split carries with third down back, Brian Leonard.
Now that all of the major injuries have been recognized, the focus at the moment is on the fourth, and last, preseason game of the 2012 season. As mentioned earlier, starters should see limited playing time in the first quarter. After that, it’s all up to the second and third string players to show coaches for a final time what they bring to this football team. This is basically a job interview for these players; whether it is with the Bengals or another football team.