Report: Tyler Eifert to Begin Bengals Camp on PUP List Due to Back Injury

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 26, 2018

Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert practices before an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Frank Victores)
Frank Victores/Associated Press

Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert is reportedly going to open training camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list because of a lingering back injury.

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network provided the update Thursday.

Eifert had expressed optimism about his status Monday, saying he was "feeling great":

Tyler Eifert @tylereifert

Back in Cincinnati for training camp and feeling great! Camp is a grind but I’m looking forward to it!

Eifert is one of the league's most effective red-zone weapons when healthy. He caught 13 touchdowns in 13 games in 2015, which was his last healthy season. Keeping him on the field has been a challenge since the Bengals selected him in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft, though.

The 27-year-old Indiana native missed all but one game in 2014 because of an elbow injury. After his terrific 2015 campaign, he was limited to 10 appearances combined over the last two years with ankle, back and knee issues.

If he's kept on the sideline for an extended period with his latest ailment, Tyler Kroft should see a vast majority of the snaps at tight end for Cincinnati. C.J. Uzomah and Mason Schreck are the team's other options at the position and could see more consistent work.

Ultimately, the Bengals' offensive upside is decreased whenever Eifert isn't in the lineup. The team's saving grace during another potential absence is the fact Kroft played well when filling in last season and should be ready for the increased workload again.