Bengals CB Kirkpatrick has sore knee, may not play

Bengals rookie cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick missed practice on

Monday with a sore knee, jeopardizing his chances of making his pro

debut this week.

The Bengals’ top pick was excited about the prospect of playing

in the final preseason game Thursday night in Indianapolis after

missing training camp with an injured left knee. His knee was

bothering him on Monday, prompting the team to send him for an

examination.

”He’s got a little bit of soreness,” coach Marvin Lewis said

after an afternoon practice. ”So they’re checking him out to see

where he is. It wasn’t expected. We don’t know what it is. It’s

just sore.”

The Bengals (No. 14 in the AP Pro32) planned to give Kirkpatrick

a chance to compete for a starting job when they took him with the

17th overall draft pick. He hurt his left knee while working out

over the summer and was limited during training camp, forcing him

to sit out the first three preseason games.

Kirkpatrick was cleared to practice last week. Lewis said on

Sunday that he planned to let him play in the game on Thursday

night. Kirkpatrick said then that the knee was doing well and he

was excited to see how it handled playing in a game.

”It’s very important to see where I stand, to see: `Am I really

ready?”’ Kirkpatrick said on Sunday. ”To see how the work ethic I

put in is progressing and pretty much just see how my leg stands

up.”

On Monday, he was in the trainer’s room during while the locker

room was open to the media. Asked if Kirkpatrick might still be

able to play in the final preseason game, Lewis said, ”I don’t

know that right now.”

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