Kirkpatrick to make first start

Kirkpatrick to make first start

Published Dec. 15, 2013 6:04 p.m. ET

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.

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.