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Six OTs miss Bengals OTA

The SportsXchange

CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati Bengals right tackle Andre Smith, who signed a three-year, $18 million contract on April 26, was not at the first OTA workout on Tuesday. Coach Marvin Lewis said it had nothing to do with conditioning.

"He's got to deal with some stuff that he has to take care of and when he gets it taken care of he will be back up here," Lewis said.

Smith was one of six offensive linemen not participating, with the others being Clint Boling, Travelle Wharton (knee), Andrew Whitworth (knee), Dennis Roland and Trevor Robinson (pectoral). With drafting three offensive linemen, the OTAs should give Tanner Hawkinson, Reid Fragel and T.J. Johnson plenty of early reps.

Whitworth and his wife Melissa paid the funeral expenses of Jaleel Gipson, 16, of Farmerville, La., who died May 13 after suffering a fractured vertebrae during a Oklahoma Drill at a spring football practice. Gipson's organs were donated after he was taken off life support. Farmerville is located about a half hour north of Whitworth's hometown of West Monroe.

Whitworth had hoped the donation would have remained anonymous, but via social media, the word got out. He said he received an e-mail from one of the parents on the team to come and talk to the players. Since offseason workouts are currently going on here, Whitworth was unable to do that. Instead, he decided to do more.

"I still read the papers from down there and know what is going on down there. Any time you are engaged in the community and the area, something like that happens it is just devastating," Whitworth said. "I am just grateful for the opportunity to serve my community and help ease that family's burden."

--While this year's first-round pick, Tyler Eifert, has been impressing everyone, questions remain about when last year's top pick, cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, will be able to get back on the field.

Kirkpatrick continues to rehab from a knee injury after playing in only five games last season.

"I know I'll be back for training camp, but hopefully I can maybe slide into a little OTAs or slide in the three-day minicamp," he said. "It's all about what the doctor is saying right now so I'm just taking it day by day."

Kirkpatrick was mostly on special teams last year and saw some limited action in the secondary.
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