It was a tough night this past week vs. the Dallas Cowboys for second-year cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick last night. With Adam Jones and Brandon Ghee not playing, Kirkpatrick got time with the first team defense and never came off the field. He kept on playing, kept on learning. He was on the field for 61 of Dallas’ 75 offensive snaps, the most of any Bengals’ defender
He was called for two pass interference penalties and was beaten by wide receiver Dez Bryant for a five-yard touchdown pass in the first half. During most of the plays in which Kirk was beaten in coverage on or drew a penalty, he actually had great coverage , but didn’t turn around to look for the football.
Kirkpatrick was also the first to miss a tackle on running back DeMarco Murray in the third quarter as Murray turned a swing pass into a seven-yard touchdown.
The night only got worse for Kirkpatrick after he suffered a concussion during the fourth-quarter while attempting to block a field goal on special teams. He ultimately finsihed the night with eight tackles and one tackle for loss.
“He has to play and get a baptism under fire,” head coach Marvin Lewis said. “He didn’t get a chance to play a lot (last season). He didn’t play any last preseason, so he’s getting an opportunity to play and work to get better and improve on his technique and the things that he’s asked to do based on each coverage.”
He’ll have one final opportunity tomorrow night vs. the Indianapolis Colts to prove to the coaches he deserves playing time this year. But if he fails to do so, the former Alabama All-American and first round draft pick could be a gameday inactive for much of the 2013 NFL Season.