Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick injured his quadriceps against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday. It's unclear when he will return to the field.
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Kirkpatrick Will Not Return
Saturday, Jan. 9
The team announced Kirkpatrick has been downgraded to out against the Steelers.
Injuries are hitting the Bengals hard late in the season, highlighted by quarterback Andy Dalton's thumb injury suffered in Week 14 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The team also lost Reggie Nelson to an ankle injury on Saturday.
Kirkpatrick, who was a first-round pick in 2012, had been a source of frustration for the Bengals early in his career, though he's been able to turn things around the last two years.
Last year, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis thrust the 25-year-old into a more prominent role. Pro Football Focus noted Kirkpatrick's 283 snaps played last season were a career high and he looked stronger as the season neared its finish line.
This season, in a Week 12 game against the St. Louis Rams, Michael Renner of Pro Football Focus gave Kirkpatrick his best grade of the season thanks to his allowing just 34 yards on six catches.
Even though consistency has eluded Kirkpatrick in 2015, he's still capable of terrific performances like the one against St. Louis. The Bengals have a talented team that can do damage in the postseason when healthy, so Kirkpatrick's injury will leave a huge hole in the secondary.