Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert practices for first time this season

Pro Bowl injury has sidelined him
Posted at 3:25 PM, Sep 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-21 23:35:47-04

CINCINNATI — Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert practiced Wednesday but he couldn’t say if he’d play Sunday against the Denver Broncos or not.

“I’m not sure yet,” Eifert said before the afternoon workout. “I don’t really know what the plan is.”

But the fact that he practiced means playing is a possibility. It’s the first time Eifert has practiced since ankle surgery in May. Players who don’t practice don’t play, so this is a big step.

“He’ll be taking a step closer to playing,” coach Marvin Lewis said. “It’s good. He hasn’t had padded practices in training camp. He’ll go out and get moving again and do football activities. It’s another step in his progression.”

Eifert ran routes Sunday in Pittsburgh before the game. It was the first time he did so — at least publicly.

“It was good,” he said. “I’ve been running routes a couple of days last week (when practice was closed to the media). I continue to feel good. It’s part of the progression. Pretty soon I’ll be back on the field. Today is another step in the right direction.”

The Bengals clearly miss Eifert. Last year he led the team with 13 touchdown catches, the most ever for a Bengal tight end. The Bengals have scored one TD in six red-zone possessions in two games this season.

Lewis hates to talk about injuries and he would never say if an injured player is going to play or not on a Wednesday. That’s the case with Eifert.

“I haven’t seen Tyler practice yet,” Lewis said.