This shouldn’t come as a shock to Steelers’ Nation, and definitely not to Cincinnati Bengals’ fans, but the AFC North foes have officially placed tight end Tyler Eifert on the Active/PUP list today.
So that's WR Simonise now official, RB Mobley and DE Johnson let go, Eifert, Thompson, Wright to PUP, Maualuga out for non-football injury.
— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) July 26, 2016
Eifert underwent ankle surgery earlier this offseason stemming from an injury suffered at this past year’s Pro Bowl. His status for Week One is still unclear. One Bengals’ front office member seemed to publicly imply that Eifert was expected to miss the beginning of the year. Two days ago, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported his recovery was “on schedule,” but did not indicate exactly what the end timetable is.
It does seem likely that Eifert will not begin the year on Reserve/PUP, meaning he’ll be activated during camp, but his future for Week One is cloudy.
It’s all worth watching with the Steelers and Bengals meeting up in Week Two. Pittsburgh did one of the best jobs league wide in shutting Eifert down, holding him to six catches and no touchdowns in both regular season games. In the Wild Card, he caught just five passes for 58 yards and was again held out of the end zone.
But after losing Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones to free agency, the team figures to lean on their tight end even more. Should Eifert be held out, it’ll be just one of several players out of the lineup. Vontaze Burfict, Le’Veon Bell (for now), and Martavis Bryant are all under suspension.