The Bengals are hoping that 2018 is the year that Tyler Eifert and first-round draft pick John Ross are both healthy.
Ross fully participated in 11-on-11 team drills last Tuesday, nearly three months earlier than he did last year. Ross’ health issues caused him to play just three games before he had season-ending labrum surgery, and he had no receiving statistics for the year.
“It’s been awhile,” Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said of Ross’ participation in team activities, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. “He’s had so few snaps around 11 guys on the other side of the ball, so this was great work for him and great experience for him that he was not able to get a year ago. He’s had so few of these days, you know? This is a good chance for him over the next nine days to get another opportunity to play 11-on-11 football that he hasn’t had a whole lot of opportunity to do.”
While Ross continues to move the right direction, so does Eifert, even if it’s at a slower pace. Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer said that Eifert “participated to a degree,” but had to watch the 11-on-11 work from behind the line of scrimmage.
“I feel good. I’m on schedule,” Eifert said, according to the Enquirer. “This has been part of the plan to stay monitored as we progress through here. I don’t want to go out there and have any setbacks or anything, so just methodically moving forward. The plan is to go into camp full speed but there’s nothing keeping me back from doing that right now. It’s part of the plan, or progression.”
Eifert also said that there haven’t been any setbacks in his recovery process.
Eifert played in just two games last year, his sixth season in the league, because he had to have back surgery. He recorded four catches for 46 yards on the year. Eifert has yet to play in 16 games in a season. He has only played 10 games in the last two seasons combined.
Eifert is without a doubt Cincinnati’s second-biggest receiving threat, behind A.J. Green, and John Ross’ unprecedented sprint speed gives him a chance to be just as dangerous, if he can stay healthy. Getting the two of them on the field will be a huge help to a Bengals offense that was so bad a season ago.