Reports began surfacing Tuesday night that Cincinnati Bengals rookie Dre Kirkpatrick suffered an injury around the knee that may force him to miss all of training camp. Though that hasn't changed, things have become slightly clearer on Wednesday.
According to the NFL Network, citing a source close to Kirkpatrick, the rookie cornerback is expected to miss upwards to six weeks with a fractured bone in his knee. Dan Hanzus with NFL.com writes:
Kirkpatrick injured the knee while preparing for training camp, creating a situation where the Bengals could potentially withhold pay from the former Alabama standout. He will fail the team's physical and land on the physically unable to perform list.
Though Kirkpatrick wasn't expected to start, he was easily competing for a spot at the third cornerback position. What really hurts him is the lack of practice and development during training camp and the preseason to prepare as the team's eventual starter.
Now according to Geoff Hobson, the Bengals have known about the injury as far back as two weeks ago, which means the six weeks could allow Kirkpatrick to be ready before the regular season. The signficance is this. Players can be activated from the Active/Physically Unable To Perform list at any point before the regular season. But if a player is placed on Reserve/PUP before the start of the season, then they're forced to sit during the first six weeks of the regular season.