Drew Sample

Cincinnati Bengals
Tight End #88
Cincinnati Bengals
Tight End #88

Drew Sample News

Placed on IR

Sample (knee) was placed on injured reserve Monday, Ben Baby of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: As expected, Sample will likely miss the remainder of the season after suffering damage to his MCL and PCL in his right knee Sept. 18 versus the Cowboys. The 26-year-old has a chance to return in early December, though that seems unlikely. Mitchell Wilcox will replace Sample as the top reserve option behind Hayden Hurst at tight end for the time being.

Oct 3, 2022 7:34 AM EST

Headed to IR

Head coach Zac Taylor said the Bengals will place Sample (knee) on injured reserve in the next couple of days, Ben Baby of ESPN.com reprots.

Analysis: Sample underwent surgery on his right knee following the team's Week 2 loss to the Cowboys. His return timetable is unclear, but it's possible he'll miss the entire campaign after initial tests revealed damage to his MCL and PCL, per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com. In Sample's absence, Mitchell Wilcox has stepped up as the Bengals' top backup tight end behind Hayden Hurst.

Sep 30, 2022 9:00 AM EST

Could be out for season

Sample will likely be forced to miss the remainder of the 2022 season due to MCL and PCL damage in his right knee, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports.

Analysis: Bengals coach Zac Taylor said Tuesday that Sample is set to undergo surgery following a right knee injury suffered during Sunday's loss to the Cowboys. While the tight end was initially expected to be sidelined for at least a few months, it now appears that he will sit out the rest of the year after initial tests revealed damage to his MCL and PCL, according to Fowler. Sample played recorded 11 catches for 81 yards while playing 440 offensive snaps last season, and he will now look to work his way back from this injury as he approaches free agency this offseason. In his stead, Cincinnati will likely turn to Mitchell Wilcox to step up as the team's No. 2 tight end behind Hayden Hurst.

Sep 21, 2022 6:35 PM EST

Out a few months following surgery

Coach Zac Taylor said Tuesday that Sample (knee) will have surgery soon and be out a few months, Marisa Contipelli of the Bengals' official site reports.

Analysis: Sample suffered the right knee injury during Sunday's Week 2 matchup against the Cowboys. He'll likely head to IR, leaving the Bengals with only two healthy tight ends -- Hayden Hurst and Mitchell Wilcox. Devin Asiasi (quadriceps) has yet to suit up this year, and it's unclear when he'll make his season debut.

Sep 21, 2022 10:15 AM EST

Won't return Sunday

Sample has been ruled out for the remainder of Sunday's game against the Cowboys due to a right knee injury.

Analysis: Sample hauled in his lone target for minus-4 yards to begin Sunday's matchup, but he sustained a knee injury in the second quarter and was unable to return. It's not yet clear whether he'll be available for the Bengals' Week 3 matchup against the Jets next Sunday.

Sep 18, 2022 2:52 PM EST

Full participant Wednesday

Sample (ankle) was a full participant during Wednesday's practice.

Analysis: Sample had to be carted off the field after suffering a knee injury at the beginning of August, but the details of the issue were never released. The 2019 second-round pick missed the entire preseason, but he appears to be full go ahead of Week 1. If available Sunday, Sample is projected to be the primary backup behind newcomer Hayden Hurst to start the 2022 campaign.

Sep 7, 2022 1:59 PM EST

Returns to practice Wednesday

Sample (knee) returned to practice Wednesday, Paul Dehner and Jay Morrison of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Sample had to be carted off the field after suffering a knee injury at the beginning of August, but the details of the issue were never released. He was spotted with a brace and crutches later in the week, and Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said he'd be sidelined for a couple of weeks. The 2019 second-round pick sat out the entire preseason, but he appears to be ramping up after garnering pads for the first time since the initial injury. If healthy, Sample is expected to be the primary backup to newcomer Hayden Hurst to start the season.

Sep 2, 2022 11:36 AM EST

Wearing brace after knee injury

Sample sported a brace on his leg and was walking with a crutch Friday after being carted off the field due to a knee injury in Thursday's practice, Kelsey Conway of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

Analysis: Sample's left leg injury has been specified as a knee injury. While an exact timetable for the tight end's return hasn't been provided, Sample seems unlikely to play in the Aug. 12 preseason opener against Arizona and will probably miss time beyond that as well.

Aug 5, 2022 9:52 AM EST

Departs practice early

Sample was carted off the Bengals' practice field Thursday after having his left leg evaluated by the team's training staff, Marisa Contipelli of the Bengals' official site reports.

Analysis: It's unclear what was ailing Sample's left leg, but it was apparently significant enough for him to leave practice early. The 26-year-old tight end was relegated to a relatively minor receiving role while playing behind starter C.J. Uzomah for Cincinnati last year, totaling just 11 catches for 81 yards on 15 targets. Sample figures to once again serve as the team's No. 2 tight end behind Hayden Hurst, who joined the Bengals on a one-year deal in March.

Aug 4, 2022 1:36 PM EST

Offensive role dries up

Sample secured 11 of 15 targets for 81 yards across 17 appearances in 2021.

Analysis: Sample was targeted 53 times across 16 regular-season appearances in 2020, but the third year of his NFL career has seen him take a clear back seat to C.J. Uzomah. The 2019 second-round pick has one more year on his rookie deal with Cincinnati, but his opportunities on offense could be slim again in the 2022 campaign.

Jan 17, 2022 9:34 AM EST

Good to go Sunday

Sample (foot) does not have an injury designation heading into Sunday's game against Baltimore, per Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic.

Analysis: Sample did not practice Wednesday and was a limited participant Thursday, but he was able to return to a full session Friday. He'll take on his usual role as the Bengals' No. 2 tight end behind C.J. Uzomah on Sunday.

Dec 24, 2021 12:22 PM EST

Doesn't participate in practice

Sample didn't participate in Wednesday's practice session due to a foot injury, Jay Morrison of The Athletic reports.

Analysis: Sample secured his lone target for two yards in Sunday's win over Denver, and he apparently sustained a foot injury in the contest. It's not yet clear whether the injury will prevent him from suiting up Sunday against the Ravens.

Dec 22, 2021 1:21 PM EST

Catches only target in loss

Sample caught his only target for 14 yards during Sunday's 26-23 overtime loss to the 49ers.

Analysis: Sample was on the field for 18 of the Bengals' 67 offensive snaps, while starting tight end C.J. Uzomah played 58 snaps. The 25-year-old has just seven catches on the season and typically serves as a blocker when he is on the field. Sample offers little fantasy value as a No. 2 tight end on a team with numerous pass-catching options.

Dec 14, 2021 1:31 PM EST

Not targeted in loss

Sample failed to see a single target in Sunday's 41-22 loss to the Chargers.

Analysis: Sample saw the field for 26 of the Bengals' 76 offensive snaps in the contest, while starting tight end C.J. Uzomah played on 66 snaps. Sample offers little to no fantasy value as a No. 2 tight end, as the 25-year-old is typically not involved much in the passing game. The 6-foot-4, 258-pounder would be the next man up if Uzomah were to be sidelined with an injury. Even then, Sample would likely struggle to produce consistently for fantasy on an offense loaded with talented pass catchers.

Dec 8, 2021 7:13 AM EST

Not targeted in win

Sample failed to see a single target in Sunday's 41-10 win over the Steelers.

Analysis: Sample played on 39 of the Bengals' 68 offensive snaps, just six fewer than starting tight end C.J. Uzomah. The 25-year-old was not targeted in the blowout as the Bengals blew out the Steelers, and quarterback Joe Burrow only threw for 190 yards. Instead, Joe Mixon and the running game was the focal point of the team's offense. Sample remains off the fantasy radar with his only path to any type of relevance being an injury to Uzomah.

Dec 1, 2021 2:56 AM EST

Most productive outing of season

Sample logged three receptions for 36 yards on three targets Sunday in the Bengals' 41-16 loss to the Browns.

Analysis: After falling behind by two touchdowns at halftime and by 24 points after three quarters, the Bengals were forced to abandon the run. As a result, Sample and fellow tight end C.J. Uzomah (five targets) had fewer blocking responsibilities and were more involved as route runners than usual. The four targets were a season-high total for Sample, who hadn't drawn a look in the passing game in either of the Bengals' prior two contests.

Nov 10, 2021 7:53 AM EST

Catches two passes

Sample secured two of four targets for nine yards in Sunday's 25-22 loss to the Packers.

Analysis: Sample saw his first offensive snaps in Week 5, having only played on special teams to start the year. The 25-year-old was in on 21 of the team's 67 offensive snaps, compared to the 56 snaps played by C.J. Uzomah, the team's No. 1 tight end. Sample is irrelevant for fantasy purposes, but an injury to Uzomah would clear a path to more opportunities within the offense. Even then, Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd would continue to demand the most looks in the passing game. The Bengals get a Week 6 matchup against the winless Lions.

Oct 13, 2021 3:06 AM EST

Behind Uzomah on depth chart

Sample enters the season behind C.J. Uzomah on the Bengals' initial depth chart.

Analysis: Last season in the only game in which Uzomah was healthy, Sample saw action on 24 offensive snaps and received just one target. The Bengals run with an "11" formation as much as anyone in the NFL, so it's possible that Sample's workload will mirror what happened in Week 1 last season more than the workload he received after Uzomah got hurt.

Sep 12, 2021 5:30 AM EST

Year 2 Improvement

Sample finished the 2020 season with 40 catches for 349 yards and his first NFL touchdown.

Analysis: While Sample won't be drawing comparisons to Travis Kelce anytime soon, the 2019 second-round pick from the University of Washington did make important strides, taking advantage of the playing time resulting from C.J. Uzomah's season-ending injury.

Jan 13, 2021 11:31 PM EST

Notches first career TD

Sample caught an eight-yard touchdown pass in Sunday's 37-31 win over the Texans.

Analysis: The 2019 second-round pick has produced some notable games this season with C.J. Uzomah (Achilles) out of the picture, but this was his first trip to the end zone. Sample has now produced a 38-334-1 line on 50 targets this season.

Dec 28, 2020 12:41 PM EST

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