Another year, another unfortunate injury for Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert.
This time, it involves the Pro Bowl tight end getting a surgical procedure on his ankle, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. The surgery is reportedly on the ankle that Eifert injured in the 2016 Pro Bowl, which was thought to be minor at the time, yet apparently was more serious than we all thought.
But in the nearly four months since, the ankle has not responded as quickly as all of the parties would have liked and The Enquirer has learned from multiple league sources that the 25-year-old tight end will undergo what was deemed a "minimal procedure" on that ankle soon.
A three-month recovery is anticipated.
I'm not sure the words "minimal" and "three-month recovery" being used together are appropriate, but it is what it is. This is terrible news for Eifert as he enters his fourth year in the NFL and has yet to shed the injury-prone label he unfortunately deserves.
A stinger and concussion led to him seeing limited action at the end of the 2015 season as he finished with 13 touchdowns, which was still a team record for touchdowns by a tight end (previously nine). Eifert also finished with 52 receptions for 615 yards on just 72 targets, good for a 72-percent catch rate.
This is the second-straight offseason that Eifert will have spent recovering from a major injury and subsequent surgery. A torn shoulder labrum in 2014 forced him to miss all but one quarter of the season and much of the 2015 offseason, though he returned to have a Pro Bowl season in 2015. During the 2013 season, Eifert missed a game due to a wrist injury. After three seasons in the NFL, he's yet to not have an injury impact his play for the entirety of a season.
It feels like a sad irony that Eifert was injured in the Pro Bowl, proving he's an elite player when healthy, but he just can't seem to stay healthy enough.
Update: Varied reports including from Bengals.com' Geoff Hobson have Eifert as in doubt to play in the Bengals' Week 1 matchup with the New York Jets. This is a major blow for the team as Eifert is the No. 2 receiver on the depth chart and a major key to the Bengals' offensive success.