This isn't a shock if you've been following Eifert this spring. Eifert had offseason ankle surgery. He’s likely to miss all or most of training camp and the preseason. Eifert had 13 TDs in 13 games last year, if he’s healthy for Week 1, he could be a nice value in the 7th/8th round.
A little over eight weeks following the surgery and on the eve of training camp, a league source said Eifert’s rehab is on schedule and progressing as planned.
At the time of the procedure, the plan was for him to be ready for the Sept. 11 regular season opener in New York. But, there remains the possibility he could miss games should the rehabilitation process take longer than expected. The story went on to say typically, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis doesn’t allow a player to suit up on Sundays unless he participates in practice in some capacity that week, so a key marker for Eifert and his potential return will be when he is able to jump back into some kind of team drills in later in the preseason. The Bengals will have to begin to answer the question of where Eifert is in his rehab schedule when the calendar flips to September in order to make decisions on the role of second-year tight ends Tyler Kroft and C.J. Uzomah, as well as H-back Ryan Hewitt, and how that affects the offense, the story went on to say.
Eifert will reportedly miss three months after ankle surgery in late May, which will impact his availability for training camp and potentially Week 1. He was a touchdown machine in 2015, finding the end zone 13 times in 13 games. His 5th-round ADP has dropped into the 7th round. If he’s healthy for Week 1, he could be a nice value there, but his early-season availability is in doubt.
Watching the Patriots offense during the first few open practices, Chris Hogan has been one of the central figures. He’s catching everything being delivered his way by either Tom Brady or Jimmy Garoppolo, and he’s constantly getting open.
That 7-Eleven nickname is on the money. He does always seem to be open.
What Bill Belichick got was a perfect fit for his offense. Hogan works very well in the Patriots horizontal style of play. At 27, he’s a few years younger than the 30-year-old Edelman and Amendola, and with the duo sitting out organized team activities and minicamp, Hogan has been running those similar routes, the quick hitters that are staples to Brady and the offense. There’s little doubt, at 6-foot-1, 220 pounds, Hogan could move into Brandon LaFell’s old “X” receiver role as well.
Hogan has more size (6'1") than it seems, but his skill set isn't much different from that of Julian Edelman or Danny Amendola. It sounds as if he'll take over the outside role in the offense, which means he could potentially have a 2014 Brandon LaFell-type season. LaFell was the #22 receiver in standard formats two seasons ago. He'll need to see more snaps than Amendola if he's going to be fantasy relevant in 2016.
Our injury expert, Russell Manalastas, says that barring any setbacks the recovery timetable for this type of surgery is 3-4 months, which would put Eifert back sometime in late-August to late-September. He could return by Week 1 or miss up to three games if his recovery is on the slower side. Manalastas also said that players going through that sort of surgery may have to deal with secondary issues like a sore Achilles. We will assume that he's going to miss two games in our rankings and adjust from there. A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, Brandon LaFell and Tyler Kroft all get a small bump if Eifert is out.
But in the nearly four months since, the ankle has not responded as quickly as all of the parties would have liked, and The Enquirer has learned from multiple league sources that the 25-year-old tight end will undergo what was deemed a "minimal procedure" on that ankle soon.
A three month recovery is anticipated.
Update: Adam Schefter is reporting that Eifert's availability for the opener is "in jeopardy, per source."
A three month timetable puts Eifert back in late August, and if there are any delays in his recovery, he may not be available for Week 1. He was a touchdown machine in 2015, finding the end zone 13 times in 13 games. His 5th-round ADP is sure to drop on the news of his surgery, and if he’s healthy for Week 1, he could be a nice value in the 7th/8th round.
Andy Dalton is back to zipping the ball. He’s got no restrictions with his throwing thumb; he’s got one visit under his belt to passing specialist Dr. Tom House last month, and after watching two of his most established targets leave via free agency he got one back with a Super Bowl ring and knows Pro Bowlers A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert are already here.
“It would be tougher if it was my first or second year, but this is year six,” Dalton says Monday from Dallas of his revamped receiving corps. “It’s easier for me now than early on in my career. That is going to be fun. We’ve got these guys from the start; we’ve got to get them exactly where we want them to be.
The two guys who lockered next to him and meant so much to the passing game won’t be here two weeks from Monday when the Bengals gather for offseason workouts. Wide receiver Marvin Jones turned down at least the same $40 million to go to Detroit and Mohamed Sanu got No. 2 money in Atlanta when a No. 4 role loomed in Cincinnati.
In two seasons with the Patriots, LaFell caught 111 passes and scored seven touchdowns. However, his role diminished greatly in 2015 and he was released March 2.
LaFell had a career year with the Patriots in 2014, his first season with the club, totaling 74 receptions for 953 yards and seven touchdowns. He started 13 of 16 games during the regular season and then all three playoff contests, adding 13 catches for 119 yards and two touchdowns in the playoffs.
An injury to his left foot, however, affected his offseason, and he opened 2015 on the physically unable to perform list. LaFell never seemed to find his groove upon his return, finishing this past season with 37 catches for 515 yards and no touchdowns.
Last season, LaFell was never able to recapture the magic from the year before, when he finished as the #22 fantasy receiver in standard formats. The Bengals lost both Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu this offseason, so LaFell will have the opportunity to start if the team doesn't use an early draft pick on a receiver.
Sanu averaged 5.5 catches for 96 yards and 0.50 TD in the four games that A.J. Green missed in 2014, but keep in mind that Marvin Jones also missed all of that season with a foot injury. Regardless, Sanu looks like a pretty good fit opposite Julio Jones and will be getting a promotion from the WR3 in Cincinnati to the WR2 in Atlanta.
Marvin Jones signing in Detroit per sources.
Jones has averaged 3.6 receptions for 48 yards and 0.44 TD in his last 32 games. He's been especially good at catching touchdowns, so he'll try to pick up the slack after Calvin Johnson's retirement. Used inconsistently in Cincinnati, he should see plenty of work with the Lions, though we expect he'll play second-fiddle to Golden Tate in terms of total targets. This is a good landing spot for Jones. Consider him a fantasy WR4 with some upside heading into 2016.
The knee injury that caused LeVeon Bell to miss the final eight games of the 2015 regular season could also end up costing him a game or two in 2016.
Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert revealed on Wednesday that there's currently no timetable for Bell's return, which means the All-Pro running back could miss the beginning of the upcoming season.
"There is no timetable coming from us when he needs to be ready for this. We can't even say he'll be ready for the regular season because we won't know that until he goes through the whole process," Colbert said at the NFL combine, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "His health and his ability to return at 100 percent is the most important."
Bell suffered a torn MCL and PCL in a Nov. 1 loss to the Bengals. The Steelers running back then underwent surgery five days later, which means 10 months will have passed once the 2016 season kicks off.
Related players: DeAngelo Williams
The Pro Bowl was full of fun and games, but one unfortunate moment occurred in the fourth quarter when Tyler Eifert attempted to haul in a deep pass from Jameis Winston. As he went to the ground, the ball popped out and he got up gingerly, holding his left leg. Eifert was seen soon after being tended to by trainers on the sideline. The update of his injury on the scene given on the television broadcast was that Eifert came down hard on his ankle and needed to get it wrapped, but the true extent of the injury wasn’t known.
Hopefully, the injury isn't serious, but we'll keep an eye on Eifert's status over the next few weeks.
The Browns’ coaching search is over, and Hue Jackson is their man.
Jackson will be hired today as the Browns’ next head coach, according to multiple reports.
That’s a coup for Cleveland, as Jackson had become a very attractive candidate after doing good work as the offensive coordinator of the Bengals.
Jackson has been the OC in five NFL seasons and his offenses have finished in the top half of the league in yards and points in his last four years as a coordinator/head coach. This looks like a good hire for the Browns.
The word out of Miami over the weekend was that the Dolphins wanted to hire Bengals defensive backs coach Vance Joseph as their defensive coordinator and they followed through with that intention on Tuesday.
Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the Dolphins have struck a deal with Joseph to be a key part of head coach Adam Gase’s first staff.
Joseph has been coaching at the collegiate level or higher since 1999 and has been an assistant coach in the NFL since 2005. This will be his first job as defensive coordinator.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger returned to the AFC wild-card playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals after exiting earlier with a right shoulder injury and helped Pittsburgh to a last-minute, game-winning drive in an 18-16 victory Saturday night.
Roethlisberger was hurt on a sack by linebacker Vontaze Burfict in the closing seconds of the third quarter but re-entered the game with 1:23 remaining in the fourth, after the Bengals had fumbled.
Roethlisberger did not want to address the extent of the injury in his postgame news conference, saying "we won the game" when asked what news he received from trainers in the locker room. He's scheduled to have additional exams on Sunday.
Roethlisberger said he was in "a lot" of pain on that final drive. He told coaches he couldn't take any deep shots to the end zone because he couldn't throw the ball that far.
"I'm going to give everything I can," said Roethlisberger about playing in the AFC divisional round on Sunday at Denver.
Roethlisberger's status will be one of the biggest storylines of the week heading into the divisional round of the playoffs. If he can't play, Landry Jones would get the start.
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