2014 was a hard year for Tyler Eifert.
It started with the third-year tight end injuring himself during an OTA practice when he fell to the ground awkwardly and injured his shoulder. That led to him missing several days in training camp in order to keep it from getting worse.
Then came the regular-season opener. It took just one quarter of play before Eifert dislocated his elbow against the Baltimore Ravens. He underwent surgery and was never taken off the Injured Reserve list though he had a designation to return. Because he was unable to do any kind of lifting, Eifert's rehabilitation cost him 15 pounds of lost muscle and the time it would take to rebuild his conditioning .
Now, Bengals.com's Geoff Hobson reports Eifert has added that muscle back this offseason as he looks toward a breakout 2015 campaign.
Eifert has re-captured his 15 pounds and is back to 250. I told him he looked bigger through the neck and shoulders this spring and he said, no, it’s just that he hasn’t looked like this in a year. He says he’s been back to normal in the weight room but, yeah, that’s the concern. Durability. But they think he can hold up like he did his rookie year, when he missed only one game.
Most NFL tight ends play closer to the 260-pound range, so it's good to see Eifert is nearing that weight. He'll probably bulk up a little more between now and the regular season, which hopefully will help him avoid further injuries. As Hobson noted, Eifert missed only one game as a rookie, a Week 17 affair with Baltimore before returning for the following week's playoff game.