It looks like Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert might not take the field this week when his team squares off with the New England Patriots.
Eifert was not present at practice Wednesday afternoon, according to Cox Media’s Jay Morrison. That could indicate the touchdown machine isn’t quite ready to return.
Eifert has spent the entire season rehabbing from an ankle injury sustained during last year’s Pro Bowl, but suffered a setback during practice last week. That setback was diagnosed as a back injury, which makes Eifert’s status unclear.
Cincinnati’s offense certainly has missed Eifert’s presence. The Bengals passing game averages 283 yards per game, but Andy Dalton has thrown only 5 touchdown passes in five games this season. Cincinnati hasn’t been very good in the red zone, which is where Eifert caught the majority of his 13 touchdowns last season.
The Bengals might need to score a ton of points against a Patriots offense that just scored 33 against the Cleveland Browns last Sunday.
New England is also on the second leg of the Tom Brady revenge tour, and Sunday will be his first game back at Gillette Stadium since his “Deflategate” suspension concluded.