As he slowly walked out Paul Brown Stadium and into another offseason of rehab, Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert stopped to talk with reporters about his recent back surgery.
Eifert said the back issue that forced him to miss the final two games of the season was a recurrence of the injury he suffered in practice in October as he was preparing to return from offseason ankle surgery.
“It’s weird,” he said. “It will flare up out of nowhere. Like when I did it in practice coming off my ankle injury, it came out of nowhere. I don’t know. This one I played in the Pittsburgh game there wasn’t a play, there wasn’t a hit. It started bothering me, but it wasn’t bad at all. Then it just got worse and worse.”
Eifert said he couldn’t have played the final two games even if the Bengals had been in the playoff race.
Less than a week removed from surgery, he’s unsure when he’ll be back to 100 percent, but he said he should be back for OTAs in the spring.
Due to the combination of neck, head, back, elbow, shoulder and ankle injuries, Eifert has yet to play a full 16-game season. Since appearing in 15 games as rookie, he played one game in 2014, 13 last year and eight this season.
He called it frustrating, but added, “There’s nothing I can do. I can’t control when I get hurt. it’s annoying when I get labeled injury-prone because I just go out and play. I play hard and, you know, I’ve had some bad breaks.”
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