|Offense||15th||112.8 (13th)||245.2 (15th)|
|Defense||11th||92.3 (6th)||248.5 (19th)|
Kroft opened the offseason as Eifert's backup, but due to the latter's ankle surgery, will take the starting reins for the time being. Eifert's recovery is projected to take three months, signifying an expected mid-to-late August return. If that timetable holds true, Kroft will see added reps in training camp and the preseason, which could equate to extra time during the regular season. Additionally, if Eifert's recovery time extends beyond initial estimates, then the Rutgers product figures to open the season as the starter, which should result in increased production for the second-year tight end. Kroft stepped in to the starting lineup near the end of 2015 when the veteran starter missed time with a neck injury and a concussion, and parlayed the opportunity into 11 receptions on 14 targets for 129 yards and a touchdown.
Eifert, who will undergo ankle surgery Wednesday, could potentially miss the first couple games of the upcoming NFL season, ESPN.com reports.
Such a scenario remains speculative at this stage, given initial estimates relayed by the Cincinnati Enquirer that "a three-month recovery is anticipated, which puts Eifert's return to the field sometime in August." On the plus side, Eifert's upcoming surgery has been referred to as a "minimal procedure," so it's a little too early to count out the tight end for the Bengals' regular season opener on Sept. 11 against the Jets.
Although the surgery isn't considered overly serious, Eifert will presumably miss most or all of training camp, with his Week 1 status now in serious question. He suffered the injury at the Pro Bowl on Jan. 31, but the
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