Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert will undergo season-ending back surgery, according to multiple reports.
The procedure is expected to be performed in Los Angeles by Dr. Robert Watkins, who also performed back surgeries on New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and former Indianapolis and Denver quarterback Peyton Manning.
Eifert, 27, caught 13 touchdown passes in 2015, but has missed 28 games due to injury in his career – including eight last season due to back and ankle injuries.
Eifert played in 15 games as a rookie in 2013, but has played in double-digit games in only one other season – 13 in 2015. He was limited to one game in 2014.
Eifert underwent back surgery over the offseason, and said during the summer that he expects to deal with some level of back discomfort for the rest of his career. He did not participate in organized team activities, but did return to the field for training camp.
Eifert has four receptions on five targets for 46 yards this season, but has missed the Bengals’ past three games while determining the best course of action with the back injury.
According to the Chicago Tribune, this will be the third back surgery for Eifert, who also had surgery while at the University of Notre Dame to repair a disc that had “popped out.”
ESPN reported that this surgery will be a microdiscectomy, which includes removing a piece of herniated disc that is causing the pain.
The 2013 first-round draft pick is in the final year of his rookie contract.