Hours before the Bengals first training camp practice, the team announced tight end Tyler Eifert would be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list.
The good news is Eifert isn’t stressed out about the decision, and he wants everyone to know it’s not going to affect his plans to play when the games count in the regular season.
“There is no setback,” Eifert elaborated to the Cincinnati Enquirer following the first practice of which he was sidelined for. “I’m feeling good. This is just the route we chose to take.”
The known stigma that has followed Eifert throughout his career has been his constant health injury concerns. By now, Eifert is well aware of the public pessimism that derives from news like this, but he’s not fretting.
“I’m in as good of shape as I’ve been in in a long time. I’m running well and just wanted to be more on the conservative side,” said Eifert. “We don’t want to have any issues. We figured this would be the smartest way to move forward going into the year.”
Many people were surprised of the news after Eifert claimed that he was “feeling great” in a tweet sent out by him on Wednesday when he and the the rest of the Bengals arrived in Cincinnati to report to camp.
Seeing his name in the injury report isn’t new to fans by any means, and the inevitable public displeasure from the announcement almost strayed them from the decision to put him on the PUP.
But Eifert is confident this is the correct route to take for his health and to base the decision around public perception was not. He plans to eventually practice and presumably play in the preseason, but the goal ultimately is to play Week 1 against Indianapolis.
“Yeah, 100 percent.” Eifert proclaimed when asked if he’ll be ready to go for the regular season opener.
Nothing is more important for Eifert than to be 100 percent ready to go once the season begins. If he’s held out of practice time and maybe one or two preseason games for that to happen, it’ll be worth it.