Tyler Eifert was expected to miss some games, but he still hasn’t stepped onto the practice field this season.
According to the Associated Press, the Cincinnati Bengals tight end has still not been cleared to practice. He had surgery on his left ankle during the offseason that he injured at the Pro Bowl.
Eifert caught 13 touchdown passes last season, setting a franchise record for most receiving touchdowns from a tight end. NFL Network’s Ian Rappaport reported last week that Eifert is shooting for a return to action between weeks four and six.
#Bengals TE Tyler Eifert, who just started jogging, is targeting Weeks 4-6 for his return from ankle surgery, per source. His hope is Week 4
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 26, 2016
The Bengals have built a very competitive football team but the last few years injuries have killed them, especially on offense. Wide receiver A.J. Green was not able to play in their Wild Card game against the Indianapolis Colts in 2015, and quarterback Andy Dalton he wasn’t able to play in last season’s wild card game against the Pittsburgh Steelers after having a career year.
People keep challenging the Bengals and their head coach, Marvin Lewis, to take the next step but they can’t keep their stars on the field. Injuries are a part of sports, especially football, but losing playmakers makes winning against top competition next to impossible.
Maybe Eifert being hurt early will work out for them. He won’t have near the statistical success he had last season, but he should be peaking when the playoffs come around if they make it. Then the light may finally shine down on the Bengals and their core stars will all play in a post season game.