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Bengals TE Tyler Eifert: The Good, Bad, Ugly

Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert is a talented former first-round draft pick who excels in all phases of the game including blocking. But he is piling up the missed games, which got us to thinking...

Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert remains in concussion protocol and won't play for the second week in a row when the Bengals take on the Broncos in a key Monday Night Football game in Denver. He was ruled out Saturday after running on the side in Saturday’s walk-through practice at Paul Brown Stadium. 

That sets up rookie Tyler Kroft for a fifth start for the Bengals, who also will be missing starting quarterback Andy Dalton (thumb) for the second straight week. Backup quarterback AJ McCarron is starting his second career NFL game against the Broncos. McCarron threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Kroft last week at San Francisco.

Eifert was hit in the head on a first-quarter tackle by Steelers safety Mike Mitchell, who was making a homecoming Dec. 13 after playing high school football just across the river in Northern Kentucky. Eifert was inactive against the 49ers. He also was inactive Dec. 6 for Cleveland with a stinger that forced him to miss the second half the previous week against St. Louis.

Eifert is a talented former first-round draft pick who excels in all phases of the game including blocking. But he is piling up the missed games, which curtail his production and ultimately hurt the team. It got us to thinking about some of his statistics, both good and bad.

Here are 12 statistical facts about Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert:

1. He is tied for fourth in the NFL with a career-high 12 touchdowns, one off the lead of 13.

2. He had a total of two touchdowns coming into the season, both in 2013, giving him two TDs in his first 16 career games.

3. He scored this season's 12 touchdowns in the first 10 games, and led the NFL through Weeks 11 and 12.

4. The Bengals have never had a player lead the NFL in touchdowns over a full season.

5. He has posted career-highs with 48 receptions and 564 yards, beating previous highs of 30 receptions and 449 yards his rookie season of 2013.

6. He has played 50 snaps in the past four games.

7. He holds the team single-season record for touchdowns by a tight end, surpassing the old mark of nine shared by Bob Trumpy, who first set it in 1969, and Rodney Holman, who equaled it 20 years later.

8. He has not made it through an NFL season without missing a game. After Sunday, he will have played in 28 of a possible 47, just 59 percent of the team total since the beginning of 2013. (By comparison, oft-injured offensive lineman Andre Smith in his career has played in 72 percent of the Bengals' games).

9. Eifert's three touchdowns Nov. 5 against Cleveland tied one of the team's oldest records in the books: the single-season standard of three TDs in a game by a tight end (Trumpy, Nov. 9, 1969).

10. The TD total against the Browns equaled Eifert's entire catch total last season, when he played just eight snaps and hauled in three passes for 37 yards before suffering an elbow injury that knocked him out the remainder of the season.

11. He ranks third on the Bengals in receptions and receiving yards.

12. He ranks 13th among NFL tight ends in receptions and receiving yards.

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