The Cincinnati Bengals are in a world of hurt at 0-6 and the bottom of the AFC North, and now they’re likely to be without one of their starting defensive players for the next month.
The eighth-year veteran was carted off the field during Sunday’s game and later seen in a knee brace. According to Rapoport, Kirkpatrick is scheduled to see a doctor regarding his knee on Tuesday, but it’s apparently already been determined he won’t suit up in the coming weeks. His absence marks yet another blow to a Bengals team that’s endured hiccup after hiccup during Year One of the Zac Taylor regime, stripping Cincy’s defense — ranked 15th in the NFL in pass coverage — of one of its most accomplished starters.
Beyond the impact that Kirkpatrick’s injury will have on the Bengals secondary, which has also been missing another former first-round draft pick in Darqueze Dennard, it’s also likely to wipe out any value the 29-year-old corner had on the trade market. With Cincinnati bound for a top draft choice in 2020 and Taylor potentially looking to recoup salary cap space or additional draft capital, Kirkpatrick for contenders in need of secondary help.