Eifert missed the first six weeks of this season after tearing ankle ligaments in last year's Pro Bowl, then sat out Cincinnati's final two tilts after being placed on injured reserve with a back problem. Although he caught 29 passes for 394 yards and five touchdowns in his eight appearances, injuries have interrupted Eifert's otherwise-impressive career, as he's played just 37 of 64 possible regular-season games since entering the league. With staying healthy the biggest obstacle preventing Eifert from establishing himself as a top fantasy tight end, news that he's anticipated to be back in action this spring is certainly good to hear.
Eifert struggled with injuries all season, recording 29 receptions for 394 yards and five touchdowns in eight games this year. He'll now turn his focus to getting 100 percent healthy for the upcoming season in order to return as one of the top tight ends in the league.
Eifert (back) underwent surgery Tuesday, NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports.
Eifert failed to provide the late-season boost fantasy owners had been hoping for in 2016, mostly for health-related reasons. With the Bengals out of postseason contention and there being nothing worth playing through the pain for, the 26-year-old went under the knife in an effort to be ready on time for training camp next summer. Despite the health concerns, Eifert remains a valuable fantasy asset when at full strength, and will likely enter next season as a top-10 fantasy tight end.
The 2016 season was one to forget for Eifert. After spraining his ankle in an exhibition game -- February's Pro Bowl -- surgery was delayed until the offseason program was already in progress in late May. The accompanying three-month recovery extended to more than four months due to an ailing back at the tail end, delaying his season debut to Week 7. He flashed his overt talents as a receiver in the ensuing eight contests, including a 102-yard, one-touchdown effort in Week 8 and a three-game stretch with visits to the end zone from Weeks 12 through 14. However, a back concern reared its head again last week, sidelining him on Saturday night in Houston. With nothing left to play for on the campaign, the Bengals have opted to shut down their No. 1 tight end, seemingly with the future in mind. Although Eifert appeared in just half of the team's slate, he still managed 29 catches (on 47 targets) for 394 yards and five touchdowns, which he'll attempt to one-up in the final year of his rookie deal in 2017.
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