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Better, worse or same: Bengals tight ends

Will Hayden Hurst be enough to offset the loss of C.J. Uzomah?

Syndication: The Enquirer Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

The tight end room took a big hit this offseason when CJ Uzomah left town to join the New York Jets. While Uzomah has typically been in the average tier of NFL tight ends, he had a career year in 2021 and became a pivotal part of the offense while making some big-time clutch plays in several close wins.

Once Uzomah left town, the Bengals signed 2018 first-round pick Hayden Hurst, who struggled to stand out in Baltimore behind Mark Andrews and then in Atlanta behind Kyle Pitts.

Now that Hurst is set to be the top tight end, could he be in for a breakout season in Cincinnati? It certainly helps that opposing defenses will be focusing heavily on the receiver trio of Ja’Marr Chase, Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins. That should give Hurst a lot of room to operate and show what he’s fully capable of.

Behind Hurst are Drew Sample, Mitchell Wilcox, Thad Moss and Scotty Washington, who’ve combined for 59 career catches, 56 of which have come from Sample, though he caught just 11 last year after grabbing 40 in 2020. The former second-round pick has struggled to make an impact, something he must do in 2022 before hitting free agency for the first time in 2023.

Overall, this is one of the weaker positions on what should be a Super Bowl-contending roster. Thankfully, it won’t be a position that’s heavily relied upon much, if any this season.

So, how do you think the Bengals tight end room compares to last season? Sound off!

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