Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert is expected to miss the remainder of the season after sustaining a broken ankle in his team's 37-36 win over the Atlanta Falcons, according to a report Monday.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Eifert will undergo surgery and miss the rest of the campaign.
Eifert caught a short pass from quarterback Andy Dalton before landing awkwardly on his right leg while being tackled by Falcons linebacker De'Vondre Campbell early in the third quarter of Sunday's game. The tackle left Eifert's right ankle twisted in an awkward way.
The gruesome injury had Eifert slamming his hand on the turf in a bid to garner the attention of athletic trainers. The 6-foot-6, 255-pound Eifert was fitted with an air cast and placed on a stretcher before being carted off with tears in his eyes.
"This was the hardest I've worked to put myself in a position to help this team succeed and having this happen crushes me," Eifert wrote on Twitter. "If I've learned anything from before, it's not a time for self pity and negativity. The only thing to do is move forward with optimism.
"With the support of my family, friends, trainers, teammates, and coaches, this will soon be another obstacle that was overcome and life will go on. Thanks to (everyone) who has sent prayers and well wishes my way!"
Eifert is no stranger to injuries, as he has played in just 14 games over the last three years.
The 28-year-old Eifert injured his ankle in the 2015 Pro Bowl, his debut in 2016 was delayed by a back injury and his 2016 and 2017 seasons ended with back surgeries. He also missed all of the 2014 campaign after injuring his elbow in the season opener.
Asked if this is as unfortunate a string of injuries involving a player as he has seen, head coach Marvin Lewis said Monday, "I would image."
"It's a shame," Lewis said. "I told him yesterday, 'you're good at this.' He said, 'I do it all the time, don't I? I really do it the right way.' He will fight back. But it's a shame."
He saw Eifert suffering when he went onto the field to check on him after the injury.
"I was trying to have Tyler breathe and to calm him," Lewis said. "He was in some pain initially for a bit there. He just wanted to know when everything was back in place the right way. He just wanted to know how severe it was. I said 'they're going to put you in an air cast and go from there.'"
"Obviously, you hate to see it for him, especially with a guy who's gone through so much. To have something freak happen like that, it's tough," Dalton said.
C.J. Uzomah likely will assume starting duties in place of Eifert, who signed a one-year, $5.5 million contract in the offseason.
Eifert recorded 15 receptions for 179 yards and one touchdown in four games this season. He has collected 142 receptions for 1,716 yards and 21 scores in 43 career contests.
--RB Giovani Bernard was the Bengals leading rusher on Sunday with 69 yards on 15 carries. That's is the most yards he has had in a game this season.
--WR Tyler Boyd had a big game Sunday, with 11 receptions for 100 yards, although none of his receptions was for more than 13 yards. It was the second straight week had had 100 yards or more in receiving. He recorded 132 yards the previous week against Carolina.
--WR A.J. Green was limited to four catches and 78 yards Sunday. He has not had a 100-yard receiving day yet this season.
--DT Geno Atkins had a sack on Sunday. That gives him four sacks for the season.