PITTSBURGH — Second-year cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick is expected to start Sunday night against Pittsburgh as the Bengals attempt to take control of the AFC’s No. 2 playoff seed.
Terence Newman is out with a left knee injury, giving Kirkpatrick, Cincinnati’s top draft choice from 2012, a shot at proving himself in a prime-time matchup of AFC North division rivals. Kirkpatrick has one interception this season in limited playing time. He’s played in a reserve role, including in the slot, and been a key contributor on special teams.
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Mike Pollak is expected to start for the fourth straight week at right guard, even though Kevin Zeitler (foot) is active.
The other Bengals inactives are: wide receivers Dane Sanzenbacher and Ryan Whalen, running back Rex Burkhead, offensive lineman Tanner Hawkinson, H-back Orson Charles and defensive lineman Christo Bilukidi.
The Steelers inactives are: quarterback Landry Jones, wide receiver Derek Moye, cornerback Isaiah Green, linebacker Stevenson Sylvester, offensive lineman David Snow, nose tackle Steve McLendon and defensive end Brett Keisel.