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Tyler Eifert annoyed by injury-prone label after third surgery in three seasons

Tyler Eifert isn’t happy with being called injury-prone, but after four NFL seasons all featuring Eifert injured, it’s no surprise he’s receiving that label.

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NFL: International Series-Washington Redskins at Cincinnati Bengals Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Eifert has yet to play a full 16 game season during his four year NFL career. In 2013, a neck injury kept him out of the team's Week 17 game. In 2014, shoulder and elbow injuries limited him to one-quarter of play. In 2015 neck and concussion issues kept him out of three games and this season, ankle and back injuries limited him to just eight games.

Unfortunately, Eifert has dealt with more than his fair share of injuries on an annual basis since entering the NFL. The tight end position is a demanding one and a position that sees many injuries across the league. In Week 17 of this season alone, Eifert, Steelers tight end Ladarius Green, Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate, and Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski were among the tight ends who didn't play due to injury. Gronkowski, who most people view as the top tight end in the league, played only eight games this season and ended the year on Injured Reserve with a back injury. In his seven season NFL career, Gronkowski has only played a full season twice, and those were his first two years in the league. If you’re a good tight end in the NFL, your risk for injury is quite high.

Gronk and Eifert both underwent back surgery this season, Eifert’s occurred just last week. After an entire offseason in 2016 spent on Eifert injury watch following his Pro Bowl ankle injury, Eifert will again be recovering this offseason, but hopefully not for too long.

“I better be,” Eifert said via the Cincinnati Enquirer when asked if he’d be ready to participate in offseason work. “It will be fine here sooner than not. I don’t know (if back by spring ball). I should be. I’ll see the doctor again in a couple days.”

Due to his regular injury scares, many Bengals fans have called Eifert injury-prone, a labeled he’s not a fan of.

“There’s nothing I can do,” he said via the Dayton Daily News. “I can’t control when I get hurt. It’s annoying when I get labeled injury-prone because I just go out and play. I play hard and, you know, I’ve had some bad breaks.”

Eifert doesn’t want to be injured, no NFL player wants to be injured, but he puts everything on the line with his play and sometimes, that results in an injury.

“It’s weird,” Eifert said of his back injury. “It will flare up out of nowhere. Like when I did it in practice coming off my ankle injury, it came out of nowhere. I don’t know. This one I played in the Pittsburgh game there wasn’t a play, there wasn’t a hit. It started bothering me, but it wasn’t bad at all. Then it just got worse and worse.”

Hey #pimpdaddyrob #wheresthedanceparty @gronk

A video posted by Tyler Eifert (@tylereifert) on

Despite being injured frequently, Eifert is a star when he’s on the field. This season, he had 394 yards and five touchdowns in 8 games played. That followed a Pro Bowl year in which had had 615 yards and 13 touchdowns, which led all NFL tight ends. If only he was healthy for a full 16 game season, Eifert could compete with Gronkowski for the title of the NFL’s best tight end. We can only hope that 2017 will be the year Eifert plays a full season and helps the Bengals get back to the playoffs for a run at the Super Bowl.