CINCINNATI (AP) — Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick was matched on All-Pro receiver A.J. Green during one of the first plays of Bengals training camp. Green took off and Kirkpatrick stayed right with him, breaking up the long pass.
This is what Cincinnati has waited a year to see.
The Bengals took Kirkpatrick with the 17th overall pick last year, thinking he could grow into a starting role pretty quickly. He hurt his left knee while working out last summer, forcing him to miss all of training camp and the first seven games. He played in five games before a concussion and more knee problems ended his season.
Kirkpatrick says his rookie season was depressing because he couldn't play. The knee is fully healed and he's trying to earn a regular role on the defense.