<
>

Tyler Eifert doesn't practice Monday, making Week 1 status at Jets unlikely

It doesn't look like the Cincinnati Bengals will get Pro Bowl tight end Tyler Eifert back in time for the season opener against the Jets in MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said he doesn't think Eifert will be returning to practice this week. Eifert, who injured his ankle in the Pro Bowl in January, has not returned to the practice field since the injury. He has spent the preseason working on the rehab field with other injured players, and did more of the same during Monday's practice. Eifert and defensive tackle Brandon Thompson, who is on PUP, were the only two players not practicing. They both worked on agility drills with trainers.

Eifert began the preseason on the physically unable to perform list, but wasn't moved to the regular season PUP list, meaning he will count against the 53-man roster until he returns. That's a good sign the Bengals don't anticipate him being out six weeks or longer.

"He won't practice with the team but he'll be doing his practice," Lewis said. "I don't anticipate him taking any team reps this week."

Although Eifert was hopeful he could play Week 1, his timetable isn't a surprise. Eifert had surgery on the ankle in May, at which time ESPN reported that he could miss the first few games of the season.

Tyler Kroft, the No. 2 tight end behind Eifert, didn't play in the preseason because of a knee injury but returned to practice on Monday. He'll likely be taking the reps in Eifert's place.