Eifert's limited participation on the rehab field comes as no surprise, while his status for training camp later in the summer remains up in the air at this point. He racked up five touchdowns in just eight games last year, and has yet to play a full 16-game season due to health issues during his first four years in the league. There's no reason for the Bengals to rush their No. 1 tight end back onto the field following December surgery, so expect Tyler Kroft (knee) and C.J. Uzomah to see additional reps throughout the remainder of the team's OTAs.
Eifert (back) said his back feels great, yet he isn't sure if he will be ready for the start of training camp, ESPN.com's Katherine Terrell reports.
Eifert seemed to hint last week that he expected to be ready for camp, but he may have been referring to Week 1 when he said he'd be "ready to go by the time it's go time". Still recovering from December back surgery, the 26-year-old tight end only resumed running a few weeks ago and still isn't quite moving at full speed. He also needs to build up his strength, as he's spent much of the past 11 months rehabbing -- first for his ankle and now his back. Despite playing at less than full strength for most of last season, Eifert was a major pass-catching threat when available, hauling in 29 passes for 394 yards and five touchdowns in only five games. Even with the durability concerns, he'll be a clear top-10 option at tight end if he's ready to go by Week 1.
Eifert (back) doesn't know if he will be cleared for OTAs or minicamp, but he said he will be ready for the start of training camp, Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com reports. "I'll be ready and healthy and strong and be ready to go by the time it's go time," Eifert said. "I'm close."
Although he isn't yet running at full speed, Eifert said his back feels great and should be back to full strength at some point this summer. There's still some hope he could participate in OTAs and minicamp in May and June, but the larger focus will be on having him ready for the start of training camp in late July. Eifert missed the first six games of last season with an ankle injury and the final two games with a back injury, finishing with 29 catches for 394 yards and five touchdowns in eight appearances. He's only played 37 of a possible 64 regular-season games since entering the league as a first-round selection in 2013, but he's scored 18 touchdowns in 21 games over the past two seasons while averaging 3.9 catches for 48 yards per contest.
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.
|P3||8/27/17||@ WAS||4:30 pm|
|P4||8/31/17||@ IND||7:00 pm|
|3||9/24/17||@ GB||4:25 pm|
|4||10/1/17||@ CLE||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 6|
|7||10/22/17||@ PIT||1:00 pm|
|9||11/5/17||@ JAC||1:00 pm|
|10||11/12/17||@ TEN||1:00 pm|
|11||11/19/17||@ DEN||4:25 pm|
|15||12/17/17||@ MIN||1:00 pm|
|17||12/31/17||@ BAL||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|