Another year, another injury for Tyler Eifert. Can the Bengals continue to be successful with Tyler Kroft and C.J. Uzomah?
Hearing that Tyler Eifert is out for the week has become the new normal for Bengals fans. The man has slowly become super injury prone which has become quite insane. At this point, Eifert has been injured every single year the past three seasons and it’ doesn’t seem to be getting better.
When on the field, not many can match Eifert’s ability to score and be an amazing red zone threat. Essentially, Eifert was considered the ultimate safety blanket. He allowed Andy Dalton to be flexible and have a viable threat, along with A.J. Green. Sadly, Eifert has gotten injured every year and has been the opposite of what he was drafted to be: reliable.
Young Tight Ends on Roster
The Bengals have some young tight ends on the roster that will need to step it up if they want to keep the offense rolling. This is where Tyler Kroft and C.J. Uzomah have to come into play, as both are quite young. The Bengals drafted Kroft in the 3rd round and Uzomah in the 5th round of 2015’s draft.
Kroft was injured in the past year, which forced Uzomah to be the featured tight end for the Bengals in 2016. He proved inconsistent and was nowhere close the red zone option the Bengals needed him to be in the absence of Eifert.
The Bengals are in this same situation again as Eifert is enduring back issues. It’s time for Uzomah or Kroft to show up and take advantage of the opportunity as soon as the Cleveland game.
Can Bengals contend with the Youngins?
If the Bengals want any chance of contending or getting back on track for the playoffs, the tight ends as a whole need to step up. Kroft must do his due diligence and block while Uzomah has to make plays for the offense when they need him. To some extent, Uzomah showed some flashes of receiving ability. But, he also has disappeared when the Bengals have needed him most.
Kroft, on the other hand, has disappeared for his whole career. He’s not lived up to his 3rd round draft billing. And hasn’t been the receiving threat that the Bengals initially wanted him to be. He was out for three games last year and didn’t show up at all when he was on the field.
Finally, both Uzomah and Kroft must prove their worth. With the combination of Uzomah’s receiving ability and Kroft’s blocking, the Bengals should be able to compete. But, if they can’t prove they are able to take over Eifert’s spot, the Bengals may have a problem. Essentially, poor tight end play affects the passing and run game with blocking. Let’s just hope they can fill the void left by Eifert and keep the offense rolling.