Bengals Roster: Realistic expectations for Zach Gentry in 2023

Gentry was signed to the Bengals' practice squad on Tuesday.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Pittsburgh Steelers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Pittsburgh Steelers / Joe Sargent/GettyImages

The Cincinnati Bengals signed a tight end to their practice squad just days before the 2023 regular season is slated to kick off. Zach Gentry spent the previous four years with the Pittsburgh Steelers but will now move to another AFC North team's practice squad.

Gentry, a fifth-round pick by the Steelers in the 2019 draft, played in 40 games during his four years in Pittsburgh and caught a total of 39 passes for 303 yards. He was cut by the Steelers on roster cutdown day and the Bengals brought him in not long after as tight end depth.

What should Bengals fans expect from Zach Gentry in 2023?

With Irv Smith Jr. being injury-prone, it made sense for the Bengals to grab another tight end before the season starts. Drew Sample also battled injuries last year and Gentry looks most likely to fill Sample's role of pass-blocking should the former second-rounder have to miss time.

The Bengals opted to keep Mitchell Wilcox as the third tight end on their roster over Tanner Hudson and now they have two decent tight end options on the practice squad in Hudson and Gentry. We'll have to see if Gentry ends up getting activated at any point this season but if he does, he has experience both as a pass-catcher and pass-blocker.


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I wouldn't expect to see Gentry on the field too much in 2023 but with all three tight ends on the roster either being injury-prone or being injured recently, it wasn't a bad idea to pick up someone like Gentry who can step in and do what's asked of him if need be.