The 2012 NFL season can effectively be called a redshirt year for first-round cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, as the Bengals placed him on the injured reserve list, ending a disappointing and injury-plagued season. Its been a rocky rookie season for the former All-American out of the University of Alabama, who missed most of the teams’ OTAs and mincamps with a leg injury, and then missed essentially all of training camp and preseason.
He didn’t make his regular-season debut until November 4th vs. the Denver Broncos playing on special teams. He saw his most playing time on defense against the Kansas City Chiefs as he notched two tackles and downed a punt at the KC-4. He’s missed the past four games due to a concussion, and will finish his rookie season having played in only five games.
Now comes word Kirk will be held out of team drills until training camp as the Bengals cautiously work him into football shape:
Meanwhile, don’t expect to see Kirkpatrick in team drills until the opening of training camp in late July as he recovers from knee surgery designed to ease the bone spurs that pretty much wiped out his rookie season.
But in between his rehab, Kirkpatrick is doing some individual drills with the defensive backs that have pleased his coaches.
“It’s the best he’s moved since he’s been here,” said secondary coach Mark Carrier. “It’s amazing what you can do when you don’t have any pain. Remember, he’s been hurt pretty much since he’s been here, so he really looks good so far.”