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Marvin Lewis hopes Tyler Eifert sticks around

Philadelphia Eagles v Cincinnati Bengals

CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 4: Tyler Eifert #85 of the Cincinnati Bengals catches a pass for a touchdown during the second quarter of the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Paul Brown Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

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According to a recent report from Adam Schefter of ESPN, Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert has been cleared to take part in offseason work after his latest round of injuries but the news from Cincinnati is a bit different.

Geoff Hobson of the Bengals website reports that the team has not yet cleared him to return due to the back injury that required Eifert to have surgery. That hasn’t made coach Marvin Lewis wary of bringing Eifert back for another season, however.

“There’s going to be risk taken on both sides hopefully something can be done to keep Tyler in Cincinnati,” Lewis said. “I think that’s important to him and hopefully it can get done. There are going to be challenges. He’s been productive when he’s been on the field and sometimes a guy can’t control when he gets injured. He dealt with an ankle injury that was legitimate. Everybody saw what happened. He dealt with an elbow when he was playing football and when you play football, things happen. Hopefully all the things he’s dealt with in his back are corrected.”

Eifert has been a productive member of the Bengals offense when healthy and returning to a familiar offense on a one-year deal could set him up for a deeper market as a free agent in 2019. The health part of that equation remains a major question mark, though, and the Bengals will have to hedge any bet they make on Eifert getting through the year unscathed.