Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Eric Ebron has been placed on injured reserve one day prior to Pittsburgh's Week 12 road game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Ebron did not practice this past week after sustaining a knee injury during the Steelers' Week 11 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.
One of Pittsburgh's biggest acquisitions during the 2020 offseason, Ebron caught 56 passes for 538 yards and five touchdowns during his first season with the Steelers. A hamstring injury as well as the emergence of rookie tight end Pat Freiermuth has limited Ebron's production this season. Despite his diminished role, Ebron -- who is in the final year of a two-year contract -- has been a dependable target who caught each of his last 11 targets. He scored two touchdowns during Pittsburgh's first 11 games that included a touchdown reception in Pittsburgh's 41-37 loss to the Chargers.
With Ebron out, third-year veteran Zach Gentry will have an elevated role in Pittsburgh's offense. Arguably the team's best blocking tight end, Gentry has caught six passes for 60 yards this season. Gentry will look to continue to complement Freiermuth, the second tight end selected in the 2021 NFL Draft. Freiermuth is currently first on the Steelers in touchdown receptions (five), third in receptions (36) and fourth in receiving yards (287).
Along with placing Ebron on injured reserve, the Steelers ruled cornerback Joe Haden out of Sunday's game with a foot injury. Outside linebacker T.J. Watt and safety Minkah Fitzpatrick will face the Bengals after both players missed last Sunday night's game with injuries.