Bengals: 3 position battles to watch in Week 1 of preseason

Cincinnati Bengals. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals tight end Drew Sample (89) -Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports
Cincinnati Bengals tight end Drew Sample (89) -Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports /

Cincinnati Bengals Position Battles to Watch – No. 2: Tight End

Starting in the 2020 season, C.J. Uzomah was the starting tight end for the Bengals. After he was injured in Week 2, the starting spot shifted over to Drew Sample.

Sample was able to handle the starting role well, posting 349 receiving yards, which is a mark Uzomah was only able to beat once in his career. With the hope that Joe Burrow can rely more on his tight ends for early release plays this season, this is quietly one of the most important battles of the preseason.

Uzomah has the upper hand having started at tight end before Sample entered the league, and was ahead of him during Sample’s rookie year in 2019. However, if the Bengals think Sample can develop into a legitimate threat, now would be the time to turn to the young player and allow him the chance to grow and learn the position throughout an entire season.

This battle is close, but Sample should edge out Uzomah. Zac Taylor will be able to get the most out of Sample and Burrow can help Sample reach new levels. The season may start with the two tight ends splitting time, but by the mid-way point, I expect Sample to have the lion’s share of snaps.

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