In front of a crowd of more than 2000 fans, the Bengals held their final training camp practice of the year. Fans were greeted with a number of nice surprises, including the fact that the team is considering opening their pre-camp pep rally to non-season ticket holders next year. Today’s’ practice was fairly light, as it was in shoulder pads, shorts, and helmets.
The biggest news of the day was the 17th overall pick out of Alabama, Dre Kirkpatrick, has been cleared to practice after missing all of training camp thus far due to a knee injury. He has been working out on the side field the last week during practice and was seen going through drills prior to the Falcons game. There was speculation coming out of that game that Kirkpatrick was recovering faster than expected and could be ready to play in the teams’ final preseason game against the Green Bay Packers on Thursday, August 30th.
If Kirkpatrick is able to practice for the remaining two weeks leading up to the regular season, than he could find himself as the opening-night nickle-corner if the team feels he is ready for that responsibility. While Kirkpatrick is expected to be the CB of the future with Leon Hall, there’s plenty of able CBs on the team right now, so the team doesn’t have to rush him into the fire if he’s not ready.
WR Ryan Whalen and MLB Vontaze Burfict also returned to practice today. Whalen had missed the previous 2 weeks with a hamstrung injury, while Burfict was knocked out of Thursday’s game against Atlanta with what appeared to possibly be a concussion, but because he’s practicing, its unlikely that was the case.
On the final day of camp, it was a quite a site to see this Bengal having his first practice: