|Ht / Wt:||6'5" / 250 lb.|
|Born:||September 8, 1990|
|Drafted:||2013 / Rd. 1 (21)|
Eifert (ankle) didn't practice at June minicamp, Richard Skinner of WKRC reports.
Analysis: Eifert mostly was able to participate in the early part of the offseason program, but the Bengals seem intent on a cautious approach working him back into full-team practices. He's working on an incentive-laden, one-year contract for a second straight season, hoping to reestablish himself as the team's top pass catcher at tight end. C.J. Uzomah and rookie second-round pick Drew Sample also are in the mix for snaps but figure to handle more of the blocking. It's unclear if Eifert will have medical clearance for the start of training camp in late July.
Eifert (ankle) has been close to a full participant during the offseason program, Fletcher Page of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports. "I'm doing pretty much everything," said Eifert. "There's a couple things here and there but for the most part it's all doing everything with the guys."
Analysis: Working his way back from October surgery, Eifert signed a one-year, incentive-laden contract in March. He seems to ahead of where he was at the same point last offseason when he was rehabbing from the third back surgery of his career. It helps that the latest injury is to a different part of his body, but the Bengals will remain cautiously optimistic given that Eifert has missed 53 in six NFL seasons. The team re-signed C.J. Uzomah to a three-year, $18.3 million contract, then drafted Drew Sample in the second round. New coach Zac Taylor and offensive coordinator Brian Callahan presumably have plans to use all three tight ends.
Eifert's (ankle) one-year contract with Cincinnati includes a $1.2 million signing bonus and $1 million base salary, along with $1.3 million in per-game roster bonuses and up to $2.5 million in incentives, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Analysis: The unusual breakdown makes sense given that Eifert has played just six games the past two years and 43 total through six NFL seasons. It also makes sense for the Bengals to invest in another option at tight end, with C.J. Uzomah landing a three-year, $18.3 million contract that includes $6.25 million fully guaranteed (per overthecap.com). While history suggests he'll have a tough time staying on the field, Eifert does seem to be on track for some level of involvement in the offseason program, as he resumed jogging by early January and was doing agility work by the end of February. None of that should come as a surprise given that he's now more than five months removed from a Sept. 30 ankle surgery with an estimated recovery timeline of 4-to-5 months. Eifert owns career marks of 12.1 yards per catch and 8.4 per target, with 21 touchdowns on 142 receptions -- per-play efficiency has never been the problem.
Eifert (ankle) signed a one-year deal with the Bengals on Saturday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Analysis: The Bengals opted to bring two of their three free agent TEs back this offseason, coming to terms with C.J. Uzomah on Monday, followed by a one-year offer to Eifert just five days later. While the former appears to be a larger part of the Bengals future given the three-year, $18 million contract, Eifert's injury history has understandably resulted in a second straight one-year contract. Given the 28-year-old has played in just six games over the course of the past two seasons, it's quite possible Uzomah might even be the favorite to start the season, particularly if Eifert's rehabilitation from October ankle surgery takes longer than expected.
Eifert (ankle) tweeted a video of himself doing ladder drills Thursday.
Analysis: The video leaves no doubt Eifert has made significant progress since early January, at which point he was limited to jogging for about 20 minutes at a time. He's now progressed to lateral movements and agility work, potentially setting the stage for participation in OTAs as he prepares to become an unrestricted free agent for the second straight offseason. Eifert's recovery timetable was estimated at 4-to-5 months after he had surgery Sept. 30 to address a broken right ankle he suffered Week 4. The 28-year-old tight end has played 43 games through six NFL seasons, including just six appearances over the past two years.
Eifert (ankle) has resumed jogging, doing so for up to 20 minutes at a time, Geoff Hobson of the Bengals' official site reports.
Analysis: Since joining the Bengals as a first-round pick in 2013, Eifert has only played in double-digit games in a given season twice in six chances. Serious injuries have been the common denominator, including a broken right ankle that limited him to four appearances in 2018. Eifert enters the offseason as an unrestricted free agent for a second straight year, but with a changing of the guard at head coach for the first time since 2003, the Bengals may opt to move on from the 28-year-old tight end. For his career, he's earned 37 red-zone targets and scored 21 touchdowns in 43 games, so bounce-back potential is evident wherever he lands.
The Bengals placed Eifert (ankle) on injured reserve Friday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
Analysis: The transaction was inevitable after Eifert underwent season-ending surgery Monday to address a broken right ankle. The injury is expected to sideline Eifert for 4-to-5 months, suggesting the impending free agent may not be back to full strength by the time teams begin OTAs. While Eifert is out, the Bengals are expected to proceed with C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Kroft as their primary options at tight end.
Eifert is expected to require 4-to-5 months of recovery after undergoing surgery Monday to repair a fractured right ankle, Fletcher Page of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
Analysis: The Bengals haven't formally placed Eifert on injured reserve, but it's expected they'll do so by the end of the week, officially ending his season. The timeline associated with Eifert's injury -- which was similar to the one suffered by the Giants' Odell Beckham last October -- could result in the tight end facing some limitations during OTAs next spring, but the expectation is that Eifert will be back to full strength by the time training camp opens. While Eifert is sidelined for the remainder of 2018, the Bengals are expected to proceed with C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Kroft as their primary options at tight end.
Eifert broke his right ankle Sunday and is expected to undergo surgery, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
Analysis: Eifert is thus likely headed to IR, which sets the stage for Tyler Kroft and C.J. Uzomah to handle the Bengals' tight end duties for the rest of the season.
Eifert's third-quarter right ankle injury in Sunday's win over the Falcons appears to be a season-ending issue, Geoff Hobson of the Bengals' official site reports.
Analysis: Replays of Eifert's gruesome injury leave little doubt that the hard-luck tight end will likely miss extended time. Injured reserve is a distinct possibility for Eifert, with Tyler Kroft and C.J. Uzomah now slated to handle the Bengals' tight end duties in the coming weeks.
Eifert suffered a leg injury Sunday against the Falcons, Katherine Terrell of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: Per Terrell, the oft-injured pass-catcher's leg looks broken. Assuming that's the case, he'll be in for an extended absence, with Tyler Kroft and C.J. Uzomah next up for the team's tight end looks.
Eifert caught six of eight targets for 74 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 31-21 loss to Carolina.
Analysis: Eifert had just five catches for 67 yards combined over the first two weeks, so this was a welcome step in the right direction. Top pass-catcher A.J. Green left this contest with a groin injury in the third quarter, and Eifert should see a nice bump in volume next week in Atlanta if Green can't go.
Eifert secured two of four targets for 23 yards in the Bengals' 34-23 win over the Ravens on Thursday.
Analysis: Eifert ended up playing on a robust 49 snaps (64 percent), although he was outproduced by position mate C.J. Uzomah despite the latter logging 12 fewer plays overall. Of considerably more importance is the fact that Eifert has made it through the first two games of the season without so much as a nick, as the oft-injured tight end's health is of paramount concern given last season's back surgery. The 28-year-old will look to improve on his current 5-67 line when the Bengals face off with the Panthers in Week 3.
Eifert caught all three of his targets for 44 yards in Sunday's 34-23, Week 1 win over the Colts.
Analysis: Eifert finished fourth on the team in targets behind A.J. Green (eight), Joe Mixon (seven) and Tyler Boyd (five). The tight end made all the plays asked of him, and his physical style should earn Eifert more red-zone looks moving forward.
Eifert saw action on 14 snaps in Sunday's preseason win over the Bills.
Analysis: In the process, Eifert caught one of his three targets for 11 yards. Heading into the contest, the tight end's last game was back in mid-September. Back and ankle issues limited Eifert to 10 contests over the past two campaigns, but when healthy, he's shown a knack for doing damage in the red zone, as evidenced by the 13 TDs he racked up in as many games in 2015. Given his injury history and the potential that he may end up on some form of snap count out of the gate, Eifert's value has dipped in drafts and auctions to the point that he could profile as a nice low-cost gamble, despite the high-risk/high-reward tag justifiably attached to him.
Eifert appears on track to make his preseason debut Sunday against the Bills, the Bengals' official site reports.
Analysis: Per the report, before the team's last two exhibition contests, coach Marvin Lewis designated Tyler Kroft as the starter at tight end in place of Eifert. Such a move was not noted Sunday, supporting the notion that Eifert will see some snaps against Buffalo. Assuming Eifert avoids any setbacks, he is slated to enter the season as the Bengals' top tight end, though given his injury history, some sort of snap count seems likely.
Eifert was not in uniform for Saturday's 21-13 preseason win over the Cowboys.
Analysis: 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.
Analysis: 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.
Analysis: 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.
Analysis: 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.
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