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Bengals TE Jermaine Gresham still dealing with back injury

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Free agent tight end Jermaine Gresham suffered a back injury in the regular season finale against the Pittsburgh Steelers, which forced him to sit in the wild card game in Indianapolis.

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Free agent tight end Jermaine Gresham could undergo back surgery this Thursday, according to NFL Insider Ian Rapoport. He is scheduled to meet with a doctor on Wednesday to have it looked at.

The back issue might sound new, but it's not. It's what kept him out during the wild card game against the Indianapolis Colts -- an injury that we believe happened in the first half of the regular season finale against the Steelers. However, according to the same report, the injury was "discovered" during the "free agent process".

Following a lengthy visit with the Oakland Raiders last week, the veteran tight end has found it difficult to muster interest in free agency -- presumably because of the condition of his back. According to Rapoport, Gresham should be ready by training camp -- the question is... whose training camp.

The former first-round pick completed his fifth season, averaging 56 receptions with 544 yards receiving per season and 24 combined touchdowns -- the last of which featured his third offensive coordinator within a system that's limited in passing game progressions.

Cincinnati hasn't publicly shown any effort (or interest) in re-signing Gresham, leading many to conclude that the team is done. Gresham recently told SiriusXM Radio that his "heart is in Cincinnati. I want to stay there, but it's up to them." Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson said that there's a place for him here, adding (with a zen-full state of mind) that he's free to do whatever he chooses. Curious reports emerged in January that "there are many coaches within the building who want zero do with Gresham at this point," most of which stems from immaturity issues and sudden questions of unreliability.

Tight end Tyler Eifert is expected to be ready for training camp.