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Steelers News: Will Zach Gentry see an expanded role with Xavier Grimble on IR?

Time to check on the latest news surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers.

NFL: Preseason-Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are moving into Week 4 of the NFL regular season, and as the team prepares for the Cincinnati Bengals, we continue to provide you with features, commentary and opinions to tide you over until the season starts!

Today in the black-and-gold links article we take a look at whether rookie tight end Zach Gentry will see an increased number of snaps, and opportunities, with Xavier Grimble headed to injured reserve.

Let’s get to the news:

  • Zach Gentry has been waiting for his opportunity, and with Vance McDonald nursing a bad shoulder, and Xavier Grimble on IR, he might have just gotten his shot.

Rookie TE Zach Gentry excited for expanded role in Steelers offense

By: Joe Rutter, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

While the Pittsburgh Steelers traded a future fifth-round pick to acquire a veteran tight end, their current fifth-rounder is hoping to assume a bigger role at the position Monday night.

Zach Gentry, the former Michigan quarterback-turned-tight end, will have the second-most experience with the Steelers when they face the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field in a prime-time matchup of winless teams.

If starter Vance McDonald is unable to play with a shoulder injury, Gentry will be the elder statesman among Steelers tight ends. On Wednesday, Xavier Grimble was placed on injured reserve, and Nick Vannett was acquired from the Seattle Seahawks.

Gentry has just 10 snaps of NFL experience, those plays taking place in the second half last Sunday when McDonald and Grimble were injured in the Steelers’ 24-20 loss at San Francisco.

“I’m fired up,” Gentry said Thursday. “I was happy I got to touch the field last week. I’m just singularly focused on winning the game and doing what I can to help the team.”

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Cameron Heyward thinks the Steelers need to be perfect, but do they really just to win a game?

Cam Heyward: We have to be perfect in everything we do

By: Josh Alper, ProFootballTalk

Defensive end Cam Heyward knows what the Steelers can’t do after starting the season with three straight losses.

Heyward said there have been “mistakes everywhere” in those losses, so no one should be pointing fingers of blame for what’s gone wrong. If anyone does go that route, Heyward said he’ll “break their finger” but he’d prefer everyone just focus on what’s ahead of them against the Bengals rather than what’s happened in the past.

“We just have to get this ‘W’,” Heyward said, via the team’s website. “That”s all it comes down to. I don’t care how it gets done, it has to get done. Our execution has to be flawless from here on out. Our room for error is out the window. We have to be perfect in everything we do, especially in practice. It’s my job to keep us accountable. It’s my job to keep guys ready for the opportunity. Both teams are 0-3 but one team is going to be 1-3 after this game.”

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • The Steelers will need to stop the Bengals’ wide receivers, and this won’t be an easy task even without AJ Green.

Kevin Gorman: Steelers corners ready for new challenge of stopping Bengals receivers

By: Kevin Gorman, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Joe Haden gets up for going against the NFL’s best wide receivers, so the Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback always looked forward to facing Cincinnati Bengals star A.J. Green.

“I feel like he was one of the top-5 receivers in the league since he came in,” said Haden, who spent his first seven seasons in the AFC North with the Cleveland Browns. “You had to step up because he was going to make you look bad if you didn’t. I felt like I had to step up to the challenge.”

Green has 88 catches for 1,178 yards and eight touchdowns in 14 career games against the Steelers, so his being sidelined by an ankle injury is a major blow for the Bengals.

If you think Haden is relieved Green won’t play against the Steelers on Monday Night Football at Heinz Field, guess again. Where Green was always trouble, Bengals receivers Tyler Boyd and John Ross have the Steelers seeing double.

“They’re still without A.J. Green, but they were without A.J. Green a year ago,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said, “and I really think that Tyler Boyd has done an awesome job of settling into his role as the lead-dog type of guy.

“I’m seeing some growth and development big-time in terms of productivity from John Ross. … Man, he’s off to a fast start, providing splash plays for them and displaying some of the skills that made him a first-round pick. His top-end speed is unique, and you see that on tape.”

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Nick Vannett Post-Practice Scrum

  • Social Media Madness