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Former Steelers TE Zach Gentry joining Bengals practice squad

A nice addition at a thin position entering the new season.

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NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals Cara Owsley-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals have filled their final practice squad spot, and it’s with a former division rival.

According to Tom Pelissero, the Bengals are signing former Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Zach Gentry to the practice squad, which now stands at 16 players.

The 6-foot-8, 265-pound Gentry is essentially filling the spot that the Bengals were hoping Raymond Johnson III would take before he decided to join the Detroit Lions’ practice squad.

A 2019 fifth-round NFL Draft pick by way of the Michigan Wolverines, Gentry played 40 career games (26 starts) in Pittsburgh, hauling in 39 passes for 303 yards. He made his mark as a blocking tight end, logging 603 run-blocking snaps and 116 pass-blocking snaps over his four years in Pittsburgh, according to Pro Football Focus.

This is a good pickup that bolsters one of the Bengals’ thinnest positions on the 53-man roster, so don’t be surprised if Gentry is eventually called up to the gameday roster.

Gentry joins Tanner Hudson as the Bengals’ two tight ends on the practice squad. Irv Smith Jr., Drew Sample, and Mitchell Wilcox are the three tight ends on the 53-man roster. All three of those guys have had durability issues, so it makes sense to have some extra insurance on the practice squad.

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