The Cincinnati Bengals have the possibility of having a great dynamic duo at the tight end position in 2018. Can Tyler Eifert stay healthy for it, though?
With tight end Tyler Eifert coming back on a one-year incentive deal, the Cincinnati Bengals have the opportunity to have one of the highest scoring tight end groups in the NFL. Eifert has only played in ten games the past two seasons and yet to complete a full season healthy in his five years with the franchise. During his time not on the field, backup tight end Tyler Kroft has developed into a promising red-zone threat in his absence.
Kroft is nowhere near the dynamic and explosive player that Eifert is, but he is a genuine threat in the red-zone. Catching seven touchdowns last season, Kroft has slowly become one of the better backup tight ends in the league. Everyone remembers Eifert’s 13 touchdowns from 2015 before his injury, which makes the duo even more exciting if he can stay healthy.
Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor has worked all offseason to put his stamp on the offensive playbook for the first time, and it will be centered around quarterback Andy Dalton’s strengths. Dalton thrives when he has the security blanket over the middle with Eifert. While Kroft struggles between the twenties, placing him on the field with Eifert and star wide receiver A.J. Green would give Dalton plenty of big pass catchers to work with inside the red-zone.
Given the attention that Eifert and Green will command, Kroft, will likely be left one-on-one in a favorable matchup. Defenses leaned heavily on Green without Eifert on the field last season, but if Eifert stays healthy and Kroft can improve even more in 2018, Cincinnati could have some real threats on the field. That’s not even including the young wide receivers like John Ross and Tyler Boyd that could explode onto the scene this year.
Giving Dalton more big body targets in the red-zone that he can count on will only improve this Cincinnati offense that struggled tremendously last season. Eifert is right up there with the top tight ends in the league when healthy. Having a duo of tight ends that can take advantage of defenses in special packages would create real opportunities for the offense, and I have to think that it’s definitely a part of Lazor’s new offense.