3 criticisms about the Bengals initial 53-man roster in 2023

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Not keeping Tanner Hudson

The Tanner Hudson hype train was in full effect during the preseason and for good reason. The tight end performed well during the preseason and it felt like after his four catches for 42 yards in the preseason finale that he had earned his spot on the team.

Unfortunately, the Bengals cut Hudson. He did sign with the practice squad so he's not completely off the team but this was a tough pill to swallow for those rooting for Hudson to make the team.

Instead of keeping Hudson as the TE2/3, the Bengals kept Drew Sample and Mitchell Wilcox in those spots. Sample's inclusion was never really up for debate. As much as Bengals fans don't like him, he is a good blocker and knows the offense.

Wilcox was a late sign due to his injury and while some thought he might start the season on the PUP list, he made the active roster and will be the third-string tight end.

Maybe Hudson gets a chance to make the team if one of the other tight ends has to miss an extended period of time (which is possible considering Irv Smith Jr.'s injury history) but more than likely, we don't hear much from him for the rest of the year unless another team claims him.

The Bengals clearly don't need pass-catching tight ends, which is why they went with Sample and Wilcox over Hudson. Still, if Smith has to miss time, the Bengals won't have that extra weapon on offense that is the tight end position. Hudson would have provided that.


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Not every decision made concerning the 53-man roster can be a winner. The Cincinnati Bengals mostly made the right decisions but these three moves were rather questionable.