Is Tyler Eifert Injury Prone?
Aug 28, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert (85) against the Indianapolis Colts at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Injuries have been a concern for the Bengals throughout the 2014 season. With as many as nine starters missing time at one point or another, the team has relentlessly had to adjust and rely on its depth. But injuries are not just a concern for the team as a whole. Tyler Eifert’s injuries are beginning to pile up. Generally when a player finds injuries as often as Eifert has recently, it leads fans to wonder if the player is injury prone. Is this the case for Tyler Eifert?
Many fans may not realize the amount of time he’s missed nor the amount of injuries Eifert has sustained recently due to the Bengals’ impressive depth. Regardless, the list for Eifert has become substantial.
Beginning with last year’s game against the Vikings, Tyler Eifert sustained a neck “stinger” and had to exit the contest. The injury occurred in Week 15 and eventually limited Eifert severely during the playoff matchup with the Chargers.
Prior to the start of this year’s training camp, Eifert was unable to participate in OTAs (organized team activities) due to a shoulder injury. This issue was reportedly unrelated to the neck injury he sustained the previous season. According to Eifert, he then re-aggravated this same shoulder injury during the preseason.
"“Just my shoulder. Been kind of bothering me, bleeding over from OTAs a little bit. Just kind of re-aggravated it a little bit. Nothing that will require surgery or anything like that, so not too worried about it.”"
This shoulder injury kept Eifert out for nearly all four of the Bengals’ preseason games and effectively kept him from participating much across the entire off-season.
Tyler Eifert was able to return to the Bengals’ lineup for the team’s Week One game against the Baltimore Ravens. After being targeted early and often, Eifert took an awkward fall and dislocated his elbow. The injury prompted the team to immediately place him on the I.R./DTR list, which ensured his absence until Week 10.
Recently, head coach Marvin Lewis told the media that Eifert may not be healthy enough to return this year.
If Eifert doesn’t return in 2014, it means that most of his career to date has been marred by injuries. This kind of injury pattern is becoming concerning, so it’s likely the team may have similar concerns. The Bengals selected Tyler Eifert with their first round pick in 2013 in hopes of creating arguably the league’s best tight end duo. That thought may never come to reality as Jermaine Gresham is an unrestricted free agent following the season and Eifert can’t seem to stay on the field.
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Tyler Eifert is undoubtedly a highly talented tight end. His receiver skills are potentially elite in the NFL and since being drafted, he’s improved as a blocker. But all this talent will be useless if Eifert can’t get onto the field. Hopefully he’ll heal up in time to return this season; it sure seems the Bengals could use him. But the Bengals may be looking to take it slow considering Eifert’s history. Regardless of the reason, if Eifert is unable to return this season, his eventual return in 2015 will mark essentially the first football he’s played since Week 15 of 2013. When taking this reality into consideration, Eifert’s health is becoming a troubling concern.