First-round draft pick Dre Kirkpatrick had some trouble adapting from the man coverage he played in college at Alabama to the off-coverage of the Bengals' scheme in OTAs and minicamps.
The hope was that with extended practice in training camp, he'd come along enough to be one of the players competing for a starting job or, at the very least, earn himself some early-season playing time.
Instead, in preparation for camp, Kirkpatrick injured his knee and will miss up to the entirety of the preseason, making his odds to take the field in Week 1 exceedingly low.
Not all hope is lost, however. Kirkpatrick's slow transition to his new defensive scheme may have held up his chances to get significant playing time at the early part of the season, regardless, and as such the team may not have been looking for him to play right away.
Either way, Kirkpatrick could very easily contribute in the second half of the season; though the injury has forced this situation, it also may have been the Bengals' plan all along.