For those that complained when the Bengals signed again free agent cornerbacks Jason Allen and Terence Newman, there's a method to the madness. As we relayed the information via Jason La Canfora late last night, rookie Dre Kirkpatrick has sustained some kind of leg and/or knee injury and the time he will be missing is unknown at this point. We'll likely get the full extent of Kirkpatrick's injury and how he suffered it when Training Camp begins on Friday, July 27th.
There's a lot to be uncomfortable about with this news. The fact that he was the team's first selection in the 2012 draft aside, Cincinnati needs defensive back help. Kirkpatrick came from a BCS national championship team and brought athleticism and swagger to the defensive backfield. With Leon Hall rehabbing his own Achilles injury, it's very possible that the two best pure cornerbacks that are currently on the team's roster will be unavailable when the team takes the field against the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football on opening week.
If there's a positive that Bengals fans can take out of the Kirkpatrick injury, it's that he wasn't counted upon to start right away. Though he probably would have received significant time in nickel packages, the team likely relied on Nate Clements and Leon Hall to start once again in 2012, provided Hall's rehab continues to go well. On top of that, we don't know how significant the injury is yet. We've been hearing speculations of broken bones in the leg and the like, but even still, this doesn't sound like a "Kirkpatrick to IR (Injured Reserve)" type of situation. More than likely, he'll end up on the Physically Unable to Perform List (PUP), rendering him useless for the first third of the NFL season.
There's going to be fallout here. There always is to an injury to a high draft pick. But, it's not devastating to the team's chances next year. While Clements, Allen and Newman are all long in the tooth, they are savvy veterans capable of being physical with most receivers, as well as come up with the occasional turnovers. And, like with any other injury, other players will have to step up and play well in Kirkpatrick's absence.
Here are the stories to review from Tuesday:
+ Offensive coordinator Jay Gruden spoke to the media about the wide receiver position, namely the competition that's been brewing all offseason. He spoke about Armon Binns and Brandon Tate primarily.
+ Just when we thought Bengals owner Mike Brown was changing his stripes a bit, the old man showed his stubbornness with the team's stance regarding the new Blackout rules.
+ Pete Prisco, ever the Bengals supporter, predicted the Bengals to go 10-6, win the AFC North and get to the AFC Championship game in 2012.
+ Along with Jay Gruden addressing the media, defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer did as well and mostly talked (or didn't talk) about a possible contract extension with the club.
+ Our guest writer, "Mojokong" wrote up another stellar piece for Cincy Jungle. It's definitely worth a read.
+ The Bengals' reaction to the NFL's "blackout rule" came from a recent release of information of U.S. Senators asking the NFL to further relax the roes in the blackout policy.