The Bengals are slowly closing up shop for this season, and more players are heading to Injured Reserve before the regular seasons wraps up.
The latest to go there are Clint Boling and Tyler Eifert, whom the team placed on season-ending I.R. on Monday. The team has yet to announce corresponding roster moves, so it looks like they’ll just call up some guys from the practice squad later this week.
Eifert, now in his fourth NFL season, is dealing with a back injury that popped up in the team’s Week 15 loss to the Steelers. He reported symptoms to the team medical staff on Dec. 20 and was inactive for last week’s game at Houston.
He missed this season’s first six games due to an ankle injury and a back strain, and he came back to play in Games 7-14. Since Eifert didn’t practice at all last week, it’s no surprising seeing him land on I.R. this week. He is far too injury prone to risk suffering a meaningless injury in a meaningless game this week, especially with how he was injured in the 2016 Pro Bowl.
In eight games this season, Eifert caught 39 passes for 394 yards and five touchdowns. He now has 18 touchdowns over his last 21 games. He was a big reason why the Bengals won two straight late this season and had a chance for a third vs Pittsburgh, but that back injury proved costly against the Steelers and last week vs the Texans. The Bengals ended up losing both games by a combined six points.
With Tyler Kroft battling knee and ankle injuries, the Bengals will likely be relying on C.J. Uzomah as their No. 1 tight end vs the Ravens in Week 17.
As for Boling, he’s been battling a shoulder injury for most of this season. He separated his shoulder in a Week 4 win over the Dolphins, and that shoulder has plagued him ever since. He hasn’t looked like the same and has struggled to be the stud guard he’d been prior, which helped him land a five-year, $26-million deal in 2015.
With Boling out last week, the Bengals moved Andrew Whitworth to left guard and inserted Cedric Ogbuehi at left tackle, which, as you can imagine, was an utter disaster in Houston. We’ll see if that same lineup is used in Week 17 vs the Ravens.