Not a whole lot has gone right for the Cincinnati Bengals so far this season, though at least things improved somewhat on Sunday, when they put up a good fight in a losing effort to the Packers. They’re still 0-3 either way, but at least they didn’t embarrass themselves.
Things didn’t get better for them after the game, though, as they learned that their once Pro Bowl tight end, Tyler Eifert, is going to have to miss at least a few weeks while recovering from a back injury, according to ESPN. At least it is not believed at this time that he will not require season-ending back surgery, but they can’t afford to be without any of their big weapons.
Already, they have gotten little contributions from some of their key additions this year, including first-round wide receiver John Ross, who only played a couple of snaps in the season opener, promptly fumbling on an end-around.
Second-round running back Joe Mixon has been on the field, but he has not been effective. He has 34 rushing attempts in a three-man backfield over three games, but he has only put up 87 rushing yards, just a 2.6-yard average, and that hasn’t come with any scores. He did add seven receptions for another 79 yards, however.
As for Eifert, this is the song that never ends. Yes, it goes on and on, my friends.
The 2013 first-round pick has been injured so frequently over the course of his career that I’m starting to reconsider the notion that he actually would have been a better draft pick than Jarvis Jones. Xavier Rhodes is my guy in that draft re-do, for those keeping score at home.
Eifert missed the final game of this rookie season with a stinger, but that was just a taste of the injury bug he would be plagued with like locusts. A dislocated elbow that he suffered in the season opener of his second season landed him on injured reserve, limiting him to one game.
He made the Pro Bowl in 2015, but he missed three games that year as well, including two with another stinger. Worse, he suffered a serious ankle injury while participating in the Pro Bowl, an injury that lingered into the 2016 season.
The plan was for the injury to recover on its own, but after waiting months, that proved to be ineffective, so he had to get surgery late in the process. That sidelined him for most of the first half of the season, and he then finished up the year on injured reserve with what is proving to be a lingering back injury.
So that’s two periods of lost time due to stingers, a stint on injured reserve with a back injury, and now another lost of missed game because of a back injury. Time to get concerned about his future, or what? He’s only played in 39 of 67 possible games, and he will be adding to the lost time now.