He couldn't help himself on Saturday.
Kirkpatrick saw a perfect opportunity late in practice, during the final sequence of 11-on-11 drills. He snagged a pass thrown by Andy Dalton and returned the interception for a "touchdown." Then he spiked the ball and hollered in celebration.
"I couldn't resist that one. It was clean, and I knew there was no way that he could have banged my hand," Kirkpatrick said. "Those plays I'm going to take. At the end of the day, I want to be respectful of the team policy."
Kirkpatrick also had a pass breakup earlier in practice against Brandon LaFell.
Kirkpatrick broke his hand in May in an incident he referred to only as a "freak accident." But it kept him out of practice for just a few weeks. Although his cast is long gone, doctors have told him to be careful not to hurt himself during training camp.
There's a balance of cautiousness vs. competitiveness in the early days of the preseason. The coaches would prefer that the players play hard but smart, saving the crazy plays for when they really matter.
Another example of that occurred Friday, when A.J. Green made a diving catch during one-on-one drills. The catch fired up the crowd and even made coach Marvin Lewis crack a smile. But it's not something the coaches want to see routinely.
"That's the thing we are trying to impress on the young guys as soon as we get them for practice. The good thing from [Friday] was that we didn't have guys on the ground. ... If it means having the collision at the football, give that up right away," Lewis said. "We’re trying to harp upon it, show them examples right away, and show how we can practice as pros and still be very prepared for Sundays."
The Bengals will put on full pads on Sunday for their third practice of training camp.
Plays of the day: Tyler Eifert pulled in a pass a few steps ahead of George Iloka in a one-on-one drill, but Iloka got a hand on the ball to break it up. ... Cody Core beat Adam Jones on a deep ball from Dalton for a would-be touchdown in team drills, and had a nice catch with William Jackson covering near the sideline. Jackson fell while trying to make the play. ... Tyler Boyd made a nice adjustment to the ball to snag a pass in one-on-one drills against Darqueze Dennard. ... Joe Mixon broke a "tackle" (no contact is allowed yet) to get into the open field for a long run. ... LaFell had a deep catch in team drills with Jackson covering. ... Iloka got pressure on AJ McCarron in team drills, forcing him to throw off his back foot toward Alex Erickson. Jackson came up with the interception instead for the second day in a row.
Kicking competition: The Bengals kicked for the first time on Saturday, with Jonathan Brown and Randy Bullock competing and Jake Elliott sitting out. Bullock made kicks of 23 yards, 30 yards and 34 yards, and Brown missed from 30 yards.
Injuries: Jake Kumerow did not participate in practice after leaving early on Friday with a foot/ankle injury. He was using a scooter and a walking boot on Saturday. ... John Ross (shoulder) was limited for the second day and did not participate in team drills. Jarveon Williams (PUP) Cedric Peerman (NFI) and Brandon Wilson (NFI) did not participate. Wallace Gilberry and Michael Johnson had the day off.