If Kirkpatrick, left, misses most of training camp, Cincinnati might have to count on Allen. (US Presswire)

CBSSports.com’s Jason La Canfora reported Tuesday night that one of Cincinnati’s first-round picks, cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, had been injured while gearing up for training camp and that it was an issue that “could cause the rookie to miss most or all of camp.”

Now, the NFL Network is reporting that Kirkpatrick is expected to miss six weeks with a fractured bone in his knee.

Obviously, this is bad news for Cincinnati, which also is waiting to see about the health of top cornerback Leon Hall -- who’s coming off Achilles tendon surgery and hasn’t been medically cleared to practice yet.

So, that means it’s unclear how long it will take two of the Bengals potential starters to be ready to start practicing for the season.

As Bengals Rapid Reporter Paul Dehner Jr. wrote, the team already brought in veteran cornerbacks Terence Newman and Jason Allen in the offseason to make up for Hall’s potential missed snaps.

And now that Kirkpatrick could miss time until the beginning of the season starts, he probably won’t be ready to participate in his role as press corner. As Dehner notes, Kirkpatrick didn’t have to play that role while at Alabama but will have to do so under Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer.

Without Hall and Kirkpatrick, Nate Clements could make an impact at corner, though he missed all of OTAs with an abdominal strain, and Adam Jones and Brandon Ghee are still around.

But if the Bengals have to play Jones and Ghee instead of Hall and Kirkpatrick, it’ll be tougher for them to back up Pete Prisco’s preseason prediction and win the AFC North.

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