Sources have indicated that Cincinnati Bengals TE Jermaine Gresham is still recovering after undergoing hernia surgery this offseason. Gresham was absent at OTAs and hasn’t been on the field for the Bengals’ minicamp, and there has been no announcement yet made as to when he is expected to return. Here’s how this news impacts the fantasy football community.
Last year, Bengals rookie TE Tyler Eifert was touted as a fantasy sleeper. Instead, Gresham and Eifert effectively cancelled out one another’s fantasy value in 2013. Each TE recorded about 450 yards, Gresham with four TDs and Eifert with two.
Not much has been revealed about Gresham’s surgery, but hernia surgery is generally not considered to be a serious procedure. The average recovery time varies, but strenuous exercise is usually allowed after about four weeks. This indicates that Gresham’s procedure was either recent or more complicated than the normal hernia repair.
Either way, Gresham should be ready to go soon and definitely by the start of the season. However, depending on how much time he misses in the offseason workouts and practices, Eifert may still benefit. Bengals QB Andy Dalton could build a strong rapport with Eifert in the next few weeks, and a QB’s trust in a receiver can often lead to increased targets during games.
Eifert actually missed some time last week as well due to a minor shoulder injury, but it’s been reported as nothing serious. I currently have Eifert ranked only a spot or two higher than Gresham on my 2014 TE rankings, but if for some reason Gresham’s recovery takes longer than expected, Eifert could be a low-end TE1 to target come August.