Bengals tight end — and pending free agent — Tyler Eifert has been medically cleared to participate in organized team activities and play during the 2018 season, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).
Earning a clean bill of health is incredibly significant for Eifert, who has only been able to appear in 49% (39 of 80) of his possible games during a five-year career. In 2017, Eifert appeared in just two contests before undergoing back surgery for the second consecutive season. While being healthy in February represents no guarantee Eifert will be available for the entirety of the 2018 campaign, interested clubs can now be assured they aren’t signing a damaged player.
A former first-round pick, Eifert enters free agency as one of the better tight ends on the market despite his health questions. Eifert’s best season came in 2015, when he posted 52 receptions for 615 yards and 13 touchdowns, and the memory of that output will likely earn the now 27-year-old several offers next month.
Whether the Bengals have any chance at re-signing the dynamic Eifert remains unclear. Last week, Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweeted that Cincinnati remains unlikely to bring back Eifert, noting the club would only be interested in an incentive-laden deal. However, other teams will likely be willing to ink Eifert to even more attractive pacts, and the Bengals don’t intend to get into a bidding war.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.