Bengals get Dre Kirkpatrick back at practice

AP

The Bengals’ secondary got a little healthier on Sunday.

Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick has been medically cleared to resume practicing and that he is on the field with the Bengals. Kirkpatrick injured his knee while preparing for training camp and was originally given a timetable of four to six weeks before he would be able to get back on the field. More optimistic reports followed, though, and Kirkpatrick is back on the field in less than a month after the injury was revealed.

With Leon Hall back after his Achilles injury from last season, there doesn’t seem to be much chance that Kirkpatrick will win a starting job at this point. He has plenty of time to carve out a role for himself in the Bengals secondary, though, and could still move ahead of veterans like Terence Newman, Nate Clements and Adam Jones before the year is out.

If he does that, the lasting legacy of Kirkpatrick’s injury will be the Twitter ban handed down by coach Marvin Lewis after Kirkpatrick tweeted about his injury. That’s far better than the injury turning into a replay of the Ki-Jana Carter ordeal that saw the former first overall pick miss his entire rookie season after blowing out his knee 17 years ago.