Bengals Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick Still Not Cleared To Practice

Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE

It's been a long and frustrating year-plus for Bengals cornerback, Dre Kirkpatrick. At the team's media luncheon on Tuesday, Marvin Lewis declared that the second-year player still has yet to be cleared for practice.

In the 2012 Draft, the Bengals were ecstatic to have the No.17 overall pick as that was part of the haul from the Raiders in the Carson Palmer mega-trade. They used that pick on Alabama cornerback, Dre Kirkpatrick, who was pegged as a long-term solution from Johnathan Joseph's departure in free agency before 2011.

It was made known that the Bengals weren't immediately depending on Kirkpatrick starting, as they had a number of solid veterans in the group that could step in and start. However, what the team didn't count on was a slew of injuries that wiped out almost all of their top pick's rookie season.

To correct some of the knee issues, Kirkpatrick had a procedure done in January of this year. At the time, it was pretty much a given that he was going to miss OTAs and minicamp to rehab, which was the case. The goal was to have him ready for Training Camp to get in game shape and move towards contributing this year. According to head coach Marvin Lewis at the team's pre-Training Camp media luncheon, Kirkpatrick still hasn't been cleared to participate fully in practice.

It's wise for the Bengals to be cautious here on a couple of fronts. Aside from conjuring up visions of the Antonio Bryant disaster of 2010, if the team rushed Kirkpatrick back into practice and he had a setback, the PUP List would not be an option for him. If the delay in his clearance continues, that could be his destination to start the 2013 season.

On last week's WhoDeyWeekly podcast, Nick Seuberling and I talked to Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com and asked him about some of the candidates for the PUP List. Hobson said that he expected Kirkpatrick to be ready for the early part of camp, but we'll have to wait and see.

Brad Johansen of WKRC local channel 12 relays word that Lewis is optimistic that Kirkpatrick could see the practice field soon.

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