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Tyler Eifert put on short-term IR

CINCINNATI -- The Bengals placed tight end Tyler Eifert on injured reserve with a designation to return due to the elbow injury he suffered in Sunday's game, coach Marvin Lewis said in his weekly news conference Wednesday.

Through a league source, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter had previously reported the move.

NFL teams are allowed to use the IR designation once each season. Under the guidelines of the rule, Eifert won't be eligible to practice for six weeks and can't return to game action for eight weeks. Last year, former Bengals receiver Andrew Hawkins was placed on the short-term IR with an ankle injury he suffered during a preseason practice. He returned Week 9 when the Bengals traveled to Miami.

Eifert was approached by reporters before Lewis' news conference but declined to comment until after the coach issued his statement. The tight end indicated he may speak later this week.

Near the end of the first quarter of the Bengals' 23-16 win against the Ravens, Eifert took an awkward fall at the end of a 14-yard reception that put Cincinnati in goal-line territory. He immediately clutched his right arm as soon as he was down, and teammates standing nearby quickly waved training staff over. After a couple minutes on the ground, Eifert was eventually helped to his feet and taken into the locker room for observation.

The Bengals haven't formally said what the injury is other than that it was to his elbow. Video replays of the reception seem to indicate he dislocated the elbow while reaching for the ground as he was going down.

In the second half of Sunday's game, Eifert was seen on the sideline with his right arm bandaged and in a sling.

He continued to wear the same apparatus Wednesday.

This latest injury comes on the heels of a frustrating preseason for Eifert, who had a nagging shoulder injury that kept him out of organized team activities and minicamp. Now, the Bengals turn to reserve Alex Smith, undrafted rookie Ryan Hewitt and starter Jermaine Gresham to help fill the void caused by Eifert's injury.

With receiver Marvin Jones also out until after the Week 4 bye, the Bengals will need to get a little creative offensively these next games. Receiver Mohamed Sanu and running backs Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard should take on even bigger roles.