Tight end Tyler Eifert suffered, not one, but two major injuries last season. Safety George Iloka landed on Eifert's shoulder during OTAs last season, tearing his labrum. Eventually he recovered for the regular season opener against Baltimore. Eight plays into the season, Eifert suffered another devastating injury, dislocating his elbow, and going on Injured Reserve with a designation to return.
He never did.
In addition to losing 15 pounds of muscle last season, Eifert underwent surgery to repair his shoulder and elbow. Eventually, Cincinnati eased Eifert, who had regained most of the weight he lost, onto the practice field after being cleared for OTA practices in May. The third-year tight end reiterated on Thursday that his elbow and shoulder are 100 percent healthy.
On Friday, he proved it.
"Routinely, Eifert had enough time in the non-padded practice to turn, find the ball, catch it, look around to see if he was about to take contact, sprint upfield, gain 10 yards and still have no defender come close to reaching out and touching him," writes ESPN NFL reporter Coley Harvey.
"At least once, Eifert made a move that caused a linebacker to lose him completely. It was tough to tell on the other plays if Eifert was simply making sharp enough cuts that he shook the defense loose, or if the coverage was simply that bad."