For the second straight season and third time in three years, Cincinnati Bengals star tight end Tyler Eifert will miss a significant amount of playing time due to injury.
Late Wednesday night, Adam Schefter tweeted that the former Notre Dame standout will undergo yet another back surgery and will not be available for the remainder of the 2017 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
Prior to the start of the ’17 campaign, Eifert had played in 37 of 64 possible regular season games after struggling with various injuries. In 2014, he suffered a dislocated elbow in Week 1 and was forced to sit out the rest of the year; in 2016, he missed the first eight games due to a separate back injury that also required surgery.
When all said and done, Eifert — whose contract expires this offseason — will have appeared in just 48.8 percent of the Bengals’ games since drafting him in 2013.
When healthy, Eifert is easily one of the best tight ends in the league. In 13 games during the 2015 season, he finished with 52 receptions for 615 yards and 13 touchdowns, the latter of which was good for No. 2 across the NFL.
But with a poor track record of health and a second back surgery in two years, you have to not only wonder whether he’ll return in 2018 with a new contract as a member of the Bengals organization or return to All-Pro form with another team — but you also have to question if he’ll ever be able to play another down as a professional football player.
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