Another year, another offseason of uncertainty with Tyler Eifert.
The Bengals tight end was mysteriously absent from Tuesday’s minicamp session. He did show up for Wednesday’s session but didn’t practice, leading to concerns if Eifert would be ready for the start of training camp in just over a month.
Marvin Lewis doesn’t know if he will, or at least is not saying.
Marvin Lewis said Eifert hasn’t had any setbacks but they are being cautious with him while practicing on the turf. Couldn’t say if he would be ready for training camp. #Bengals— Laurel Pfahler (@LaurelPfahler) June 13, 2018
Eifert had been present and working in OTAs before sitting out the past two days. He underwent back surgery during the 2017 regular season, followed by a minor procedure to have a cyst removed from his knee.
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.
That came after Eifert has suffered a Pro Bowl ankle injury that seriously derailed his 2016 season. Eifert never managed to play a 16-game season in five years. He has played in just 39 of a possible 80 games.
In five years with the Bengals, Eifert has played in only 39 games due to multiple injuries, including at least one injury in every year of his career. In that time, Eifert still has accumulated an incredible stat line of 127 catches, 1,537 yards and 20 touchdowns.
In the 2015 season alone, Eifert had 52 catches for 615 yards and 13 touchdowns, which was the most by any tight end in the NFL.
The Bengals’ offense is dramatically different when Eifert is on the field, and his inability to stay on the field the last two seasons is a big reason why the Bengals endured back-to-back losing seasons.