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NFL Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals rookie Shaun Prater out for the season, one of three injured defensive backs

It’s always difficult to hear of injuries that occur during spring training, but somehow, it’s even worse when an injury happens to a rookie. It’s such a critical time in their development, and it has to be frustrating for them to be ready to move on to the next level only to be injured before the season even begins.

Unfortunately, Cincinnati Bengals rookie cornerback Shaun Prater knows the feeling all too well.

Prater, the former Iowa Hawkeyes player who was picked in the 5th round of the 2012 NFL Draft, suffered a knee injury in practice. He will undergo season-ending surgery to repair the knee in the next few days and placed on injured-reserve. He will spend the next several months rehabbing the knee, which could take around 4 months, but is expected to be ready to participate in the off-season conditioning program this spring.

But Shaun Prater isn’t the only Bengals defensive back to suffer an injury, though his is the most severe. The defensive backs position seems to have been hit hardest.

Fellow rookie cornerback and 1st-round draft pick, Dre Kirkpatrick, is rehabbing a fractured knee that has sidelined him for the entire training camp.

Defensive back Brandon Ghee, a 3rd-round pick in the 2010 Draft, suffered a broken wrist on Saturday, and will therefore miss an unknown period of time.

The Cincinnati Bengals currently have 10 cornerbacks on their roster, including some veterans, but again, it’s always hard to see some of the younger players hurt. It certainly affects depth at the position, and the veterans will really need to step up for Cincinnati.