Tyler Eifert played just two games in 2017 before undergoing another back surgery. Heading into free agency in 2018, however, the talented but injury-prone tight end reportedly expects to be ready for offseason workouts.
NFL teams are being notified that Eifert was cleared last week by Dr. Robert Watkins to participate in OTAs this spring and play in 2018, ESPN reported Monday morning.
The surgery last year was Eifert's third on his troublesome back. He handled a knee issue for a portion of the 2016 season and dealt with an ankle injury at the outset of that campaign. The 27-year-old has played in just 10 games the past two seasons. For his career, Eifert has missed more regular-season games (41) than he's participated in (39).
When healthy, however, the 6-foot-6 athletic tight end was a weapon for the Cincinnati Bengals. In his breakout 2015 campaign, Eifert caught a whopping 13 TDs in 13 games played.
According to multiple reporters out of Cincinnati, the Bengals aren't expected to retain Eifert.
In a league constantly looking for a red zone mismatch, Eifert's size and athleticism combo would make him an enticing add on the open market, if healthy.
The gargantuan neon sign flashing: "if he can stay healthy," which follows Eifert around, however, will likely depress his payday. The talented tight end will have a market if he is in fact fully healthy heading into the new league year. But given the injury concerns, he's likely to earn little more than an incentive-laden, one-year prove it deal.