In just an absolute brutal stroke of bad luck, Cincinnati Bengals Pro Bowl tight end Tyler Eifert suffered a gruesome leg injury in a 37-36 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
Eifert, who just turned 28 less than a month ago, caught a pass and was turning upfield when he was routinely tackled by Falcons linebacker De’Vondre Campbell early in the third quarter.
Unfortunately for Eifert and the Bengals, the routine tackle turned into anything but as the tight end crashed to the ground.
This is the less graphic video of the tackle in question.
Not again! Poor Tyler Eifert, horrible luck. pic.twitter.com/xj0ohTT9Wy
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) September 30, 2018
Fair warning, this next video shows the gruesome aftermath of that tackle.
— Steve Frederick (@_SteveFrederick) September 30, 2018
As is evident from the video, Eifert’s foot, ankle and fibula all seem to be going in different directions after the tackle. The Bengals star was visibly traumatized while laying on the field.
Eifert was eventually fitted with an air cast and carted off the field.
A distraught Eifert gave a meek wave to the fans as he fought back tears while being carted off.
Eifert’s tears are understandable. Not much has gone right for his health since being nominated as a First-Team All-American in 2012 while playing for Notre Dame.
The talented tight end has missed swathes of games with various injuries. In 2014, Eifert missed virtually the entire season after injuring his elbow in the first game of the season. His 2016 and 2017 seasons both ended prematurely with back surgeries.
Even in 2015, when Eifert made the Pro Bowl, he suffered a bad ankle injury. The man literally cannot catch a break when it comes to injuries.
This year, Eifert had been on a limited snap count due to his questionable health. Much like how the New England Patriots put injury prone star Rob Gronkowski in bubble wrap for the majority of the regular season, the Bengals had hoped to preserve Eifert’s health over the grind of a 16-game season.
And make no mistake, this is a big blow to the Bengals. When healthy, Eifert is one of better tight ends in football with a rare combination of speed, size and soft hands.
The most heartbreaking part of this for Eifert is that he was rounding into form this season before the injury. Including today, Eifert had snagged 10 catches for 112 yards and a touchdown over the last two games. Those aren’t necessarily eye-popping numbers, but it at least showed Eifert trending in the right direction after numerous setbacks.
The Bengals, who are unfortunately no strangers to being without Eifert, will have to rely on reserve tight ends Tyler Kroft and C.J. Uzomah.
Eifert has all of the ability to be one of the best tight ends in all of football. Unfortunately, the one ability he doesn’t have is availability, and that’s a shame.
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