Tyler Eifert is inching closer toward being fully recovered from surgery.
As you may recall, Eifert underwent back surgery during the 2017 regular season, followed by a minor procedure to have a cyst removed from his knee.
Now, it appears Eifert is healed enough that he can take part in OTAs when they begin in April, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
NFL teams have begun to be notified that Bengals’ free-agent-to-be TE Tyler Eifert, who underwent micro-disc surgery last season, was cleared last week by Dr. Robert Watkins to participate in OTAs this spring and play in 2018, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 26, 2018
This past season, Eifert played in Week 1-2 with one start and had four catches for 46 yards. He was inactive for Weeks 3-5 due to the back injury, which later led to him being placed on season-ending injured reserve.
Eifert is set to become an unrestricted free agent in March. The Bengals do have the option to use the franchise tag on him, but after having multiple surgeries since the start of last season, it’s really hard to see them using it.
If Eifert has played his final game in Bengals stripes, he’ll finish out in Cincinnati with 127 catches for 1,527 yards and 20 touchdowns.
But for now, the theme of his time in Cincinnati is the onslought of injuries suffered in his five seasons. Eifert never managed to play a 16-game season in five years. He has played in just 39 of a possible 80 games.
Saying all of this, the Bengals should attempt to re-sign Eifert to a one-year prove it deal, giving him the chance to make some good money this year and then hit free agency again in 2019.