Eifert misses first practice of mandatory minicamp

Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap was back on the field for the first day of mandatory minicamp, but the team still was short of perfect attendance as tight end Tyler Eifert was not present.

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis didn’t offer specifics but said the only reason for Eifert’s absence would be health related.

“He was here all morning and then all of a sudden he wasn’t,” Lewis said. “I’m sure he’s being dealt with in some kind of medical fashion. That’s the only reason why a guy wouldn’t be here.”

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Lewis said he wasn’t sure if the absence was related to the season-ending back injury that required surgery.

A first-round pick in 2013, Eifert has appeared in 39 of a possible 80 games in his career, including just two last year and eight in 2016.

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A free agent at the end of last season, Eifert agreed to return to the Bengals on an incentive-laden one-year, $4.6 million contract that could be worth as much as $8 million.

Eifert was present for all of the voluntary offseason program and took part in a limited number of 11-on-11 drills.

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“He’s been feeling good about things and (team doctors) have been feeling good about things,” Lewis said. “As time goes on when we start to play football, then have an idea where he is.”

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