WEDNESDAY, 6:18am: Eifert is undergoing ankle surgery today and, according to a source, “could miss the first couple of games of the season,” Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.
The worst-case scenario is that he could be out for the first few games, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. However, Eifert’s surgery today is minor, and the hope is he’s ready for the start of the 2016 season.
TUESDAY, 1:55pm: When Tyler Eifert suffered an ankle injury at the Pro Bowl, the early word was that it was a minor injury with estimates of a quick recovery. Months later, the Bengals have learned that is not necessarily the case. The tight end will undergo a “minimal procedure” on that ankle this offseason, according to Jim Owczarski of The Enquirer. Minimal or not, this procedure could sideline Eifert for the start of the 2016 season, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Owczarski, meanwhile, hears that Eifert will need only three months to recover.
Eifert, 26 in September, had a breakout season in 2015, earning his first Pro Bowl nod since entering the league as the 21st overall pick in 2013. After spending the majority of the 2014 season on injured reserve, the Notre Dame alum hauled in 52 passes for 615 yards and 13 touchdowns in just 13 regular season contests last year.
Eifert has been expected to take on an even larger role in the Bengals’ passing game in the 2016 season, with secondary receivers Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones no longer in the mix. Cincinnati signed Brandon LaFell as a free agent to help complement A.J. Green and the team also added Tyler Boyd in the second round of this year’s draft, but it was anticipated that Eifert would be in line for a career high in targets next season. Hopefully for the Bengals, Eifert will be on the field to see that plan through.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.