Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, the team’s first-round pick last year, said the injured left knee that forced him to miss most of his rookie season still is not fully healed, but it’s close.
“I don’t want to rate it,” Kirkpatrick said when asked how close to 100 percent he thinks he is. “I know when the time is right, I’ll be ready. I’ve just got to take my time, not rush it. I don’t want to risk coming back and re-injuring it or anything like that. I’m just going to take my time and be patient with it and it’s all going to work out.”
Kirkpatrick injured the knee last summer prior to the start of training camp, forcing him to miss the first seven games of the season. After returning and playing mostly on special teams, Kirkpatrick suffered a concussion in San Diego on Dec. 2, and later was placed on season-ending injured reserve when he re-injured the knee in practice.
“It’s just been a grind,” he said. “The rehab process sucks. You’re rehabbing and everybody is out there, they’re doing their work, they’re getting their reps and I’m just on the sideline getting mental reps. It gets frustrating sometimes, but those are the things that you have to go through in this league.
“I know I’ll be back for training camp, but hopefully I can maybe slide into a little OTAs or slide in the three-day minicamp,” Kirkpatrick added. “It’s all about what the doctor is saying right now, so I’m just taking it day by day.”
Bruise brothers: A defensive player himself, Adam Jones doesn’t have a lot of experience going head-to-head against new linebacker James Harrison. But there is one incident that stands out, and it’s one the two had a good laugh about when Harrison arrived in Cincinnati on Monday.
“That’s when I first hurt my neck when I was in Dallas,” Jones said. “I muffed a punt, and he almost killed me. We talked about it. I told him if he was down, I probably would have done the same thing.
“I saw him coming and said, ‘I know he’s not going to hit me if I try and go for the ball.’ I thought he was going to try to go for the ball. He was like, no, I knew you weren’t going to get the ball if I try to go for the ball, so I was just trying to hit you. It’s a part of the game. I’m happy to have him on my team now.”
Sixth signing: The Bengals signed guard Tanner Hawkinson, making him the sixth of the 10 draft picks to reach a deal.
A fifth-rounder from Kansas, the 6-foot-5, 300-pound Hawkinson is expected to provide depth and flexibility to the offensive line as a guy who could possibly line up at tackle, guard or center, even though he has never played the latter.
He graduated from KU with an economics degree, and Cincinnati offensive line coach Paul Alexander compared him to former Bengal Eric Steinbach.
Ticket talk: The Bengals announced that two- and four-game ticket packs will go on sale Saturday. Tickets are available for all three levels of Paul Brown Stadium, beginning at $40 per seat, per game.
There are two four-game packs. The Orange Pack is for games against Green Bay, Indianapolis, Minnesota and the New York Jets, while the Black Pack features Pittsburgh, New England, Cleveland and Baltimore.
The four two-game packs are broken up as follows:
Pack A – Pittsburgh, Cleveland; Pack B – New England, Baltimore; Pack C – Green Bay, N.Y. Jets; Pack D – Indianapolis, Minnesota.