The Bengals got great news on the injury front Wednesday with the return of Geno Atkins. The good news keeps coming on Thursday with the return of Dre Kirkpatrick.
The third-year cornerback out of Alabama is back on the field after missing three straight practices after suffering a hamstring injury Saturday. Kirkpatrick has missed most of the previous two training camps with head and knee injuries.
Thus far, he's now practiced in four of seven practices. He needs to have a big camp and preseason just to avoid falling fifth on the depth chart. He's facing an uphill battle to get playing time from veterans Leon Hall, Adam Jones and Terence Newman, and rookie Darqueze Dennard has played well in OTAs and through the first seven training camp sessions.
Kirkpatrick's role is expected to expand significantly in 2015, when Newman's deal runs out, and the Bengals likely move on from him.