The Cincinnati Bengals placed tight end Tyler Eifert on injured reserve Wednesday with the designation for return , meaning he cannot practice for six weeks and will not be eligible to play in a game until the Thursday night home game against Cleveland on Nov. 6.
Eifert injured his right elbow in the first quarter of Sunday’s 23-16 win at Baltimore.
The second-year player was a big part of the gameplan early against the Ravens, catching three passes for 37 yards, including a 14-yarder at the Baltimore 9 on the play he was injured.
The injured reserve-return designation was implemented three years ago, and teams are allowed to use it once per season. The Bengals used it on center Kyle Cook in 2012 and wide receiver Andrew Hawkins last year.
Eifert’s absence will force the Bengals to either abandon their two tight-end sets or flank Jermaine Gresham with either Alex Smith, who had three catches for 21 yards in 2013, or Ryan Hewitt, an undrafted rookie.
The Bengals also made two moves on the practice squad, re-signing cornerback Onterio McCalebb, who made his NFL debut Sunday in Baltimore before being cut Monday, and adding tight end Ryan Otten, a first-year player who was on San Diego’s practice squad last year.
Practice report: Defensive tackle Geno Atkins (feet), linebacker Vontaze Burfict (concussion), running back Rex Burkhead (knee), guard/center Mike Pollak (knee/center) and linebacker Sean Porter (hamstring) did not practice Wednesday, while wide receiver A.J. Green (foot), defensive end Carlos Dunlap (hamstring) and right tackle Andre Smith (shoulder) were limited.
Cornerback Darqueze Dennard (hip) and wide receiver James Wright (concussion) both were full participants after being inactive for Sunday’s game in Baltimore. Defensive end Margus Hunt (ribs) also was a full participant.
Wide receiver Marvin Jones (foot) already has been declared out for Sunday’s home opener against Atlanta.
No Nugent: Kicker Mike Nugent, who booted a career high-tying five field goals Sunday in Baltimore, was a nominee for AFC Special Teams Player of the Week, but the award ended up going to Buffalo kicker Dan Carpenter.
Carpenter was 3-for-3 on field goal tries, including a 27-yard game-winner in overtime.
Defensive end Wallace Gilberry (four tackles, 1.5 sacks) was a nominee for Defensive Player of the Week, which went to Miami’s Cameron Wake. And Green (six catches, 131 yards, touchdown) was a nominee for Offensive Player of the Week, which ended up going to Denver tight end Julius Thomas.
Ticket talk: The Bengals have not sold the required 85 percent of non-premium seats to avoid a television blackout, but ticket manager Andrew Brown said the threshold is within reach.
“We have made good progress,” he said. “We’re optimistic we can get there.”
If the blackout is avoided, the game will air on Channel 7 in Dayton and Channel 12 in Cincinnati.
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