One of Andy Dalton’s Primary Targets could be missing week one due to off-season surgery.
Tyler Eifert is one of the biggest weapons to this Cincinnati Bengals offense but after a NFL Pro Bowl injury and slow healing, Eifert has decided surgery is the best option.
However, that timeline according to Jim Owczarski of Cincinnati.com, is now in the three month range, which could put him returning in August. The start of the season is September 11th against the Jets, so any setbacks re-injuries could push him extremely close to week one.
Eifert however has experience with injuries and rehab. In 2014, Eifert injured both his shoulder and elbow, which required surgery, and caused him to miss the season. In 2015, he ended up missing a few games due to concussion symptoms, which he ended up missing Denver and San Francisco.
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He was a vital part to the Bengals success in the NFL and a major part of the 8-0 start and eventually winning the division. He also played a large role in moving the ball against the Steelers in the Wild Card game, where he recorded five catches for 58 yards.
If Tyler Eifert does not return in time, Tyler Kroft would get the nod to replace him as the top tight end option. Ryan Hewitt could also be shifted between the half-back and tight end roles, which would increase his playing time significantly. This will give the Bengals options heading into the season, if they need it.
Luckily, Eifert’s ankle doesn’t seem as serious as his injuries in 2014 and there is some healing time before he will need to get back on the field. The Bengals will be looking to A.J. Green and Eifert this season if they are going to get back to the playoffs for the sixth straight year. It is imperative for him to get back quickly but return healthy and ready for the season.