The Bengals ended the injury-plagued rookie season of first-round pick Dre Kirkpatrick on Tuesday when they put the cornerback on injured reserve with a knee issue that is apparently related to the bone spur that wiped out his training camp and the first seven games of the season.
The club replaced him on the roster when it picked up wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher on waivers from the Bears. The 5-11, 180-pound Sanzenbacher came out of Ohio State last year as a free agent and stuck with the Bears for all 16 games and one start in 2011 with 27 receptions for 276 yards and three touchdowns. He was with the Bears for all 15 games this season, but had just one catch for seven yards and was inactive 10 times.
Kirkpatrick's comeback was curtailed after just five games on Dec. 2 in San Diego when he suffered a concussion and practiced just twice since while being inactive for the last three games. He apparently was also batting the knee. Indications are Kirkpatrick's second season isn't in jeopardy because he has plenty of time to rehab if the Bengals decide he needs another procedure.
Kirkpatrick, one of the draft picks the Bengals got in the Carson Palmer trade from Oakland, was the 17th pick out of Alabama. He ended up with two tackles on defense and two on special teams, and a bit of frustration that he expressed last week.
"Everything happening to me this year is just killing me inside," he said. "I'm just trying to hide it and deal with it on my own terms."
Ohio State has put the most players on the Bengals with 25 down through the years and Sanzenbacher, a Toledo, Ohio product, joins fellow Buckeyes Nate Clements, Daniel Herron and Mike Nugent on the currennt roster.
Sanzenbacher's signing puts the Bengals back to the full complement of six receivers with rookie Mohamed Sanu on IR.