By JOE KAY, AP Sports Writer
CINCINNATI (AP) — Bengals rookie cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick missed practice on Monday with a sore knee, jeopardizing his chances of making his pro debut this week.
The Bengals' top pick was excited about the prospect of playing in the final preseason game Thursday night in Indianapolis after missing training camp with an injured left knee. His knee was bothering him on Monday, prompting the team to send him for an examination.
"He's got a little bit of soreness," coach Marvin Lewis said after an afternoon practice. "So they're checking him out to see where he is. It wasn't expected. We don't know what it is. It's just sore."
The Bengals (No. 14 in the AP Pro32) planned to give Kirkpatrick a chance to compete for a starting job when they took him with the 17th overall draft pick. He hurt his left knee while working out over the summer and was limited during training camp, forcing him to sit out the first three preseason games.
Kirkpatrick was cleared to practice last week. Lewis said on Sunday that he planned to let him play in the game on Thursday night. Kirkpatrick said then that the knee was doing well and he was excited to see how it handled playing in a game.
"It's very important to see where I stand, to see: `Am I really ready?'" Kirkpatrick said on Sunday. "To see how the work ethic I put in is progressing and pretty much just see how my leg stands up."
On Monday, he was in the trainer's room during while the locker room was open to the media. Asked if Kirkpatrick might still be able to play in the final preseason game, Lewis said, "I don't know that right now."