Tyler Eifert is struggling with well-documented health concerns once again, but he was upbeat on Twitter on Monday.
Back in Cincinnati for training camp and feeling great! Camp is a grind but I’m looking forward to it!— Tyler Eifert (@tylereifert) July 23, 2018
Eifert is coming off a 2017 season in which he played just two games, catching four passes for 46 yards. The Bengals are seemingly less optimistic about Eifert’s return, specifically this season.
“Hopefully Tyler Eifert can come back and be a factor for us,” director of player personnel Duke Tobin said, according to Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com. “I can’t predict the future on that one, but I can testify to the fact that he made a difference when he was up and running for us. We know what he can do if he can get back to that level. I know his full intent is to get back to that level. We’ll see if he can.”
Hobson also wrote that it would be “a surprise” if Eifert was healthy enough to practice on day one of training camp, which is Thursday.
This means we have no more clarity on Eifert’s health now than we had six weeks ago when it was revealed that he was still dealing with lingering injuries. After coming into the preseason optimistic about his health, Eifert was revealed to still be dealing with injury issues on June 12. He was sidelined during minicamp because of it.
Head coach Marvin Lewis didn’t sound optimistic when the health concerns were revealed back in June. Lewis also said that he wasn’t sure if Eifert would be ready for the start of camp.
Whether or not Eifert will be able to play come Week 1, we still don’t know. But the former Notre Dame tight end has yet to play a full 16-game season through his first five years in the league. He’s only played a total of 10 games the least two years.
In 2015, he had 13 touchdowns and was nearly unguardable in the red zone. He helps take attention off of All-Pro wide receiver A.J. Green as well. It just so happens that 2015 was the last season in which Green had 10-plus touchdowns. That was also when the Bengals had a franchise-best 8-0 start and had one of the league’s top offenses until Andy Dalton went down with his thumb injury late in the season.
The hope was Eifert could finally get healthy this season and help this offense get back to that 2015 form, but he’s already off to a shaky start. Hopefully he’s cleared and ready for training camp soon.