BEN­GALS’ EIFERT OUT FOR SEA­SON, NEEDS SURGERY ON BACK

Dayton Daily News - - SPORTS -

Oft-in­jured Ben­gals tight end Tyler Eifert was sched­uled to have sea­son-end­ing back surgery Thurs­day, ac­cord­ing to ESPN.

The surgery would re­port­edly side­line the for­mer Pro Bowler for four to six months.

Eifert, 27, has four catches for 46 yards in twogames. He in­jured his back in Week 2 vs. the Tex­ans and has missed the last three games.

Eifert was a Pro Bowl se­lec­tion in 2015 af­ter catch­ing 52 passes for 615 yards and 13 touch­downs. He tore lig- aments in his an­kle dur­ing that Pro Bowl game and has played in 10 of 21 games since.

Af­ter play­ing in 15 games as a rookie, Eifert has played in 24 games the last three­plus sea­sons.

Eifert, a first-round pick out of Notre Dame in 2013, is in the fi­nal sea­son of his con­tract. If the Ben­gals don’t re-sign him, he will be­come an un­re­stricted free agent.

Ben­gals-Steel­ers flexed: The Ben­gals’ bye week will last an ad­di­tional three hours with the NFL’s an­nounce­ment that the Oct. 22 game at Pitts­burgh has been flexed to a 4:25 p.m. kick­off.

The game, orig­i­nally sched­uled for 1 p.m., will be part of the CBS dou­ble­header.

The Ben­gals and Steel­ers have played in prime­time plenty of times, but this will be just­the eighth time in 84 reg­u­lar-sea­son games they will start in the late af­ter- noon time slot. The most re­cent was Sept. 27, 2009, when the Ben­gals won 23-20 at home in a 4:15 start.

Ben­gals af­ter the bye: Since the NFL made bye weeks a reg­u­lar part of schedul­ing in 1990, the Ben­gals are 8-19-1 the week af­ter a bye, in­clud­ing 5-8-1 un­der Marvin Lewis.

When they play on the road af­ter a bye,as they will at Pitts­burgh, they are 4-11 over­all (3-6 un­der Lewis).

And when they head into a bye with a win­ning streak of at least two games, the Ben­gals are 2-3 (2-2 un­der Lewis).

But while the Ben­gals are 35-60 against the Steel­ers all time, they are 4-2 when fac­ing them af­ter a bye. The most re­cent in­stance was in 2015 when they started 6-0, had a week off and then went to Pitts­burgh and won 16-10.

Tyler Eifert has played in 24 games the past three-plus sea­sons.

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