Bengals' Tyler Eifert to reportedly undergo season-ending back surgery
Eifert is set to become a free agent after the season
After consulting with Dr. Watkins, Bengals’ TE Tyler Eifert has decided to undergo season-ending back surgery, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 12, 2017
Bengals TE Tyler Eifert scheduled to undergo back surgery Thursday and is expected to be out 4-6 months, per source. Free agent in winter.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 12, 2017
This will be the third back surgery of Eifert's career. And it's not like his back has been the only injury issue of his career. Eifert also had ankle surgery in 2016 after suffering an injury during the Pro Bowl. In Eifert's five-year career, he's never played in a full 16-game season, appearing in 39 of 80 possible games. The injury is especially untimely for Eifert, who is in the final year of his contract.
When healthy, Eifert is one of the most dangerous tight ends in the game. In 2015, he racked up 615 yards and 13 touchdowns. He's averaging 0.51 touchdowns per game in his career. For context, consider that all-time great Antonio Gates averages 0.54 touchdowns per game. Obviously, that doesn't mean Eifert is as good as Gates was at his peak, but it demonstrates how much of a red-zone machine he is when healthy. And a player like that holds a ton of value.
So, if Eifert does sit out the rest of the season, the Bengals will certainly miss him. After an 0-3 start, the Bengals have won two straight to get back into the AFC North race -- they're just a game back of the Ravens and Steelers. Tyler Kroft leads the Bengals' tight ends with 14 catches for 139 yards and two touchdowns.
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