Tyler Eifert is a touchdown magnet when he's on the field and a big waste of Fantasy roster space when he's on the injury report. Unfortunately, he's been injured far more than in the end zone the past two seasons, missing 22 of his last 32 games. The Bengals gave Eifert a one-year "prove it" deal this offseason and will have him healthy for the start of training camp. Given the touchdown-dependent nature of the tight end position, Eifert's a gamble worth taking with a late-round flier if you're inclined to carry two tight ends. Heck, given his on-field history he might be good enough to begin the season with as a starter (he plays at Indy in Week 1), then hit waivers when you need a replacement.
Eifert was not in uniform for Saturday's 21-13 preseason win over the Cowboys. Eifert traveled with the team and worked out with the team's medical staff, but he was ultimately included on the list of inactives for the team's second preseason contest. His exclusion from the lineup isn't all that surprising given his injury history, but he should play a part in next week's exhibition against the Bills as he looks to round into form before the regular season starts.
When asked about how he would manage Eifert and what would happen if, theoretically, Eifert got to 50 snaps in a game, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said, "Well, I hope he never gets 50," Katherine Terrell of ESPN.com reports. This isn't necessarily confirmation of a snap count on Eifert, and it's the non-responsive type of answer that Lewis is known for. It shouldn't come as a shock that upon that glorious day that Eifert ever plays in a game, he'll likely be limited.
Eifert was heavily involved in the Bengals' last two practices, potentially setting himself up for an appearance in Saturday's preseason game at Dallas, Jay Morrison of Cox Media Group reports. Despite being cleared for contact around two weeks ago, Eifert has been in and out of the lineup at practice as the Bengals carefully manage his workload to avoid any setbacks. The oft-injured tight end was unsurprisingly held out for the preseason opener, but he's now progressing toward his first in-game appearance since suffering a season-ending back injury last September. The Bengals may continue to limit Eifert's reps in the regular season, with No. 2 tight end Tyler Kroft having thoroughly proved his competence last year.
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis refused to answer whether Eifert (back) would play in the Bengals' first preseason game Thursday, but he was on the field earlier in the day getting in some work, Jim Owczarski of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports. It's not terribly important that Eifert play Thursday night, only that he doesn't experience any setbacks in the course of ramping up his activity. Even if he plays, like most starters he'll be limited.
Eifert (back) practiced without restrictions Friday, Katherine Terrell of ESPN.com reports. After bypassing the Bengals' practice Thursday in favor of a side session, Eifert made his first full appearance just a day later. It's a clear step forward for the sixth-year tight end, who has a long history of injuries and played just two games last season. Eifert is easily the Bengals' most talented player at his position, but Tyler Kroft also proved to be a capable option last season and could get semi-regular snaps if the Bengals plan to limit Eifert's workload in an effort to keep him healthy throughout the season.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|7||10/21||@Kansas City Chiefs||12||6.06|
|8||10/28||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||3||5.00|
|10||11/11||New Orleans Saints||5||5.22|
|14||12/09||@Los Angeles Chargers||4||5.00|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||42||28||352||6||21||12.57||71|