When somebody goes down with an injury in the NFL, it’s that old analogy “next man up”. Getting the opportunity to replace a veteran player and help keep the team where it is until he comes back.
For Cincinnati Bengals second-year cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, its his opportunity to seize the challenge.
On Monday, we heard that two-time verteran pro bowler cornerback Terrance Newman will miss this weekend Sunday night game against the Pittsburgh Steelers and likely the last two games of the regular season, after a MCL sprain he suffered yesterday afternoon.
It’s now Kirkpatrick time to prove he is the guy the team drafted in the first round out of University Alabama in 2012. He said today, he doesn’t wish injury on any of his teammates, he does want to prove he can fill in and produce.
He might get his chance to start his first NFL game this Sunday night against a division rival, on national television. He must capitalize on this great opportunity, as the team looks to keep their win out and possible high seeding goals heading towards the playoffs.
This is a great chance for the young cornerback to prove his doubters and to the team he is ready for the challenge. I think fans remember the preseason game in Dallas in August, where he was beaten in coverage and called for pass interference twice. He looked so bad that a lot were saying this was a draft bust pick, and fans wanted the front office to release him.
Last season Kirkpatrick was forced to go on injured reserve with a knee injury he suffered. This season he had hamstring injury that kept him out for two games in the beginning.
After that, he’s seen the field a lot and has done a solid job. He had his first career interception last week in San Diego off of Phillip Rivers.
The time is now for young Kirkpatrick. With the team in pursue of a division title and a possible high seeding in the AFC playoffs, and losing two of their best cornerbacks. It’s time for him to step up, if he does you will see more playing time grow for the youngster.