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Bengals TE Tyler Eifert progressing

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Just don't ask if/when he'll return. It boils down to he might return this season... or he might not. Either way, he's progressing this week.

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The last time that we had heard anything about Tyler Eifert, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis went into a speech that could be summed up as "he's getting healthier".

"We're continuing to get Tyler healthy," said Lewis in early November. "I can't give you an update until he gets close to being healthy. He's on the mend; he's healing doing things and if he gets back and healthy and he's going to be able to contribute and not risk further injury, then he'll be back and out there. We're obviously not going to risk Tyler's future for any part of this season right now until he's completely 100 percent healthy to be able to do his job."

One of the team's beat writers connected dots and made a statement-like question towards Lewis that Eifert could miss the rest of the season... which Lewis confirmed as "right."

Right.

Let's not put words in Lewis' mouth by suggesting a 50/50 proposition could swing towards the most dramatic headline: EIFERT COULD MISS THE REST OF THE SEASON. Nasty dislocation of the elbow, short-term Injured Reserve... of course he could miss the rest of the season. So could Vontaze Burfict for all we know.

It's been three weeks and Lewis was asked on Friday if Eifert has a chance to return this season.

"He does".

Now the dramatic headline is: EIFERT COULD RETURN THIS SEASON.

What the f*ck just changed?

Coley Harvey, who offers a more sensible "progressing" headline, writes:

Lewis was asked again Friday if there was a chance Eifert would return this season, and the coach said yes. It was the second time in a week that he acknowledged that Eifert should be back in the fold.

Skinny posted that Eifert, who hasn't been cleared to practice yet, declined comment.

After posting 39 receptions for 445 yards receiving and two touchdowns during his rookie season, Eifert has missed all but one game this season. During the regular season opener in Baltimore, Eifert posted three receptions (two leading to first downs) for 37 yards receiving.