Tyler Eifert was to be the Bengals’ red-zone elixir. The majestic 6’6” phoenix of a tight end was expected to return this week against the Cowboys and snatch a couple of touchdowns high out of the sky, and just like that, the Bengals’ league worst 30.77% redzone efficiency would soar to the top. Well, that’s what I was hoping at least.
However, word out of Cincinnati yesterday was that Eifert suffered a new injury to his back, keeping him off the practice field on Wednesday, and now on Thursday, too. The oft-injured Pro Bowler is now likely to miss the coming game against the Dallas Cowboys.
Immediately, Who Dey nation assumed the worst. Could Eifert be out for the season? Will he ever make it through a season healthy?
Per Bob Holtzman, Eifert has not ruled out from trying to play on Sunday and “it's believed to be a day to day thing”. But, Holtzman added that Eifert sitting out on Sunday is the most likely scenario.
This morning, head coach Marvin Lewis said on Sirius XM NFL Radio that Eifert, “has a sore back”, but that he still “has an opportunity to play this Sunday”.
But, Eifert was not at practice on Wednesday and again missed today’s session. He has been practicing in a limited fashion since September 21st, but has yet to practice fully with the team. It is rare for a player to be thrust into action after dealing with such a scenario, especially when that player is injury prone and a pivotal part of your team. Friday’s Bengals practice is a mere walkthrough, so even if Eifert is in attendance, that wouldn’t be enough for him to have really tested his back and ankle to prove he’s ready to play in a game, after not taking part in any football activities since January’s Pro Bowl.
So, is Lewis telling the truth in saying that Eifert still has an opportunity to play in Week 5, or, is he merely trying to confuse the opponent after a swarm of reports on the Bengals tight end flooded the internet on Wednesday?
In the most recent SIISWIS podcast, Dadio, Dr. Hodgie and John Sheeran debate whether Eifert will completely repair the Bengals’ redzone problems and they give their takes on the likelihood that Eifert plays this weekend. You can listen here:
And to relive some of his best moments from last year, watch the following video:
For now, it’s safe to assume Eifert won’t play in Week 5, but, there’s a possibility it could happen.