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Dre Kirkpatrick out six weeks with fractured knee

We now have a clearer picture of the injury suffered by rookie cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, and the news isn't good for the Cincinnati Bengals.

ATL: Bengals cornerback battle
Dre Kirkpatrick was expected to push for playing time, but the competition got smaller after he fractured his knee, Brian McIntyre writes. More ...

NFL Network learned Wednesday from a source close to Kirkpatrick that the first-round draft pick fractured a bone in his knee. He is expected to miss six weeks and likely the start of the regular season.

Kirkpatrick injured the knee while preparing for training camp, creating a situation where the Bengals potentially could withhold pay from the former Alabama standout. He will fail the team's physical and land on the physically unable to perform list.

Kirkpatrick tweeted about the injury Tuesday night, apologizing for the circumstances. If he doesn't pass a physical and come off the PUP list by the season opener, he'll be forced to miss six weeks before he can return to action.

Kirkpatrick's injury creates more uncertainty at cornerback for the Bengals. The team already is dealing with the unclear status of Leon Hall, who's attempting to come back from a torn Achilles tendon. Brian McIntyre broke down the Bengals' cornerback depth chart during our positional-battles series.

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