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Drew Sample is ready to step up

The former second-round pick is ready to make an impact.

NFL: JAN 30 AFC Conference Championship - Bengals at Chiefs Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

As the Cincinnati Bengals prepare to depart for Los Angeles this week, all eyes are on one name on the injury report.

A sprained MCL in the AFC Championship game against the Kansas City Chiefs has tight end C.J. Uzomah’s status for Super Bowl LVI uncertain.

Uzomah, a vocal leader and a man with a knack for big plays in big games, is doing everything he can to get back on the field, but there are still big question marks around his availability.

While his leadership and motivation will be there regardless, much has been made about replacing his impact on the field. Going up against the vaunted Los Angeles Rams pass rush, the tight ends may be crucial. Look for that room to be heavily involved in the plan to slow down Von Miller coming off of the edge.

In the event Uzomah can’t suit up, much more responsibility will be placed on former second-rounder Drew Sample.

Sample has had little impact in the passing attack this season, recording 11 catches for 81 yards and no touchdown receptions.

Regardless of his modest stats, Sample seems to be ready to step in upon his number being called and credits his preparation in a recent interview on Bengals.com.

“You prepare every week like you’re playing every snap and (tight ends coach James Casey) does a great job of making sure everyone’s prepared. It was just no different than a normal game. Just maybe a little more tired, out there (with fewer) rotations, things like that,” Sample said.

Sample continues to echo the sentiment of “next man up” and states that he might have been a bit more tired with more snaps, but it was “No different than a normal game.”

As Frank Pollack and the offensive line room prepare for arguably the best defensive line they’ve faced all season, Sample is likely to be tasked with blocking assignments against some of the league’s best.

Anyone rooting for the Bengals hopes Uzomah is able to play and make an impact, but it is great to see Sample locked in and ready to fill the void, if necessary.