Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis wouldn’t tip his hand earlier this week when asked if Tyler Eifert could get some playing time Saturday in the team’s second preseason game at Dallas.
However, it appears as though the veteran tight end could be nearing a return in game situations.
Eifert participated in a walk-thru Thursday in the team’s last practice at Paul Brown Stadium before the travel day Friday, and he has seen an increased workload with the first team offense during regular practices the past week.
“I think that’s probably a stay tuned,” Lewis said of Eifert’s status. “Everyone expects to play until they don’t.”
Lewis said Tuesday in his weekly press conference that Eifert has “continued to stay the course,” and it’s evident he makes a difference every time he steps on the field.
The Bengals are walking a fine line of whether or not to limit Eifert’s exposure because of the potential for injury.
Eifert played just two games last year because of knee and back injuries and began training camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list as a precaution while easing him into full practices. After coming off the PUP, he started out practicing every other day but has seen more of a regular routine this week, aside from sitting out Tuesday.
The Bengals haven’t had Eifert for a full season since he was drafted in the first round in 2013.
“I try to limit everyone’s exposure when I can,” Lewis said. “But it is hard, and it’s harder for the offensive coaches and for Bill (offensive coordinator Bill Lazor) to plan things, but we have a pretty good handle on it now. We know the days when we will have Tyler out there and the days we won’t, and to make sure the emphasis for certain things come those days for certain things.”