If Tyler Eifert caught breaks as well as he caught footballs, he might actually be healthy enough for some serious playing time.
Unfortunately, he can’t catch breaks, and he will be out with an injury when training camp begins on Thursday. He will be placed on the PUP list by the team and can return as soon as he gets healthy, as long as that’s before rosters are formed and he doesn’t have to be put on the regular season PUP list, which would force him to miss at least six weeks. His replacement, Tyler Kroft, had been nursing an injury and was forced to miss OTAs and minicamp. The Bengals are hoping that the tight end position will come around before the season starts.
Eifert isn’t the only Bengal to be cursed with injuries. William Jackson, the Bengals’ first-round pick in 2015, started a trend when he missed his rookie year with an injury. Since then, John Ross and Billy Price followed suit as first-round picks to catch the injury bug.
When training camp starts on Thursday, most of the players will be healthy and ready to go. Unfortunately, there are several who will probably have to sit out.
After missing most of 2017 and all offseason to rehab, tight end Tyler Eifert (back) is still starting camp on the Active/PUP list.
Last year’s first round draft pick only played 17 snaps during his drama-filled rookie season. First, Marvin Lewis came out and said that John Ross had been hiding a shoulder injury. Then, Ross admitted that he never quite felt right at that season.
But, Ross has been full go at OTAs in June, so he should be golden for training camp. He’ll be one of the most-watched players when camp begins.
This year’s first-round draft pick, who tied a school record at Ohio State for games played, suffered a freak pectoral injury during the bench press drill at the combine. Billy Price did some light work during minicamp and OTA’s, but he was cleared to resume football activities in mid June.
The young center ‘should’ be 100 percent for training camp, but that doesn’t mean the Bengals won’t still bring him along slowly to ensure he doesn’t have any setbacks, something Price and the team cannot afford.
Price won’t be the only offensive lineman coming back from an injury. Tackle Jake Fisher hit injured reserve last season after suffering an irregular heartbeat. He had surgery two weeks later and was finally cleared to play football in June.
Fisher was held back during OTAs, but was a full participant during minicamp and should be ready to go compete for the starting right tackle spot on Thursday.
If Tyler Eifert misses any time, the Bengals want Tyler Kroft to be able to fill in. He missed some practice time during OTAs and minicamp with an unknown injury, but expects to be available for training camp.
With Eifert’s unknown status, Kroft has a chance to get more reps and show why he’s the tight end Cincinnati should be working on a long-term extension for.
The veteran safety was sidelined with an unknown injury during OTAs but was back at practice during minicamp. He should be good to go as he looks to hold off rookie Jessie Bates for the second starting safety spot next to George Iloka.
The Bengals’ second-year linebacker hit the Non-Football Injury list on Monday for an unknown injury. This is bad news for Brandon Bell as he will have to put forth maximum effort to make the 53-man roster this year.
Tra Carson injured his ankle during training camp last year, which ended up being an injury he couldn’t shake during the season as he ended up on IR. He also missed OTAs and minicamp, so it will be a long shot for him to be fully healthy for training camp. If he misses training camp, he has no hope of making the 53-man roster.
Other players dealing with minor injuries include Josh Shaw, T.J. Johnson and Darius Phillips. All three of them were dealing with unknown injuries during OTAs and will all hopefully be back for training camp on Thursday.