Injury Roundup: The Week Ahead for Cincinnati Bengals

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Dec 15, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick (27) warms up prior to the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick got the first tart of his NFL career Sunday, but it was one he’d probably rather forget, as noted by Pro Football Focus:

"It’s easy to forget that Dre Kirkpatrick (-4.5) is a former first round pick. Most teams are desperate to get their high selections on the field but it’s taken injuries to Leon Hall and now Terence Newman to force the Bengals to start him, and it’s not hard to see why they’re so reluctant. Although his day in coverage wasn’t a disaster (4-of-5 for 47 yards and a touchdown) you wonder how much the Steelers game plan protected him in that regard. His work in the run game saw him miss four tackles."

It only got worse for Kirkpatrick after he was helped off the field late in the fourth quarter with what appeared to be a knee injury, but he manged to return to the game at the end for a few more snaps.

Of the all the Bengals to be injured Sunday, Kirkpatrick probably isn’t the best player, but the team;s lack of healthy defensive backs makes his injury arguably the most important. Against a Vikings team that suddenly has an explosive passing game, Dre needs to be healthy and playing Sunday.

That’s assuming the normal starter, Terence Newman, is still out while recovering from an MCL sprain. He’s projected to miss 1-3 weeks, so there’s a small chance he’ll play this week.

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