The Cincinnati Bengals now have a next-man-up approach to the tight end position with Drew Sample off the board for what could be the entire season due to a knee injury.
Cincinnati will lean on Mitchell Wilcox as the immediate backup behind starter and pass-catching threat Hayden Hurst.
But Week 3 against the New York Jets should also mark the debut of Devin Asiasi, who was one of three notable waiver claims by the Bengals as the league cut down to 53-man rosters.
Tight ends coach James Casey liked Asiasi during the 2020 draft, so it’s no shock he’s not too worried about the upcoming debut.
“He’s one of those well-rounded guys I like. He can run routes and catch it as well as block. You can put him in the game and he can do more than one thing,” Casey said, according to Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com. “He’s smart and he cares about it, which is the biggest thing. I think he’ll surprise some people with his speed and movement.”
As for Asiasi? He’s loving what he sees from Joe Burrow and the overall culture in the locker room: “Good kid. Confident kid. All these guys rally to him, so that’s a real good thing. The thing I really like about these guys and this team is they all seem to look out for each other, help each other, in the tight end room, the special teams room, whatever it is.”
The Bengals might not lean on Asiasi all that much on Sunday, but he’s the first of the three waiver claims to break into playing time and perhaps the one with the biggest chance to earn even more snaps, quickly.