It’s been a rough season thus far for Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, but he may go from being buried on the depth chart to getting significant snaps soon enough. After starting CB Adam Jones was arrested today, his future in Cincinnati, as well as the NFL is very-much in doubt, and now Kirkpatrick will likely begin to see significant snaps after being a draft-bust through the first year-and-a-half of his NFL career.
His lack of ball-awareness and overall coverage skills were painfully highlighted during the team’s preseason loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Kirkpatrick endured a night to forget against Dallas, as he allowed a touchdown to Dez Bryant, committed two pass interference penalties, missed three tackles while nine receptions were made on his coverage before he left the game as the result of a concussion suffered in the fourth-quarter on special teams.
That pretty much sums-up his problems through his first two years: Injury-prone, lack of awareness in coverage and committing unnecessary penalties. But if the Bengals hope to continue their new-found success that leans heavily on their defense, they’ll need Kirkpatrick to step-up and fill-in for Jones when/if he’s suspended.