SOUTH BEND - Though the 2009 football season at Notre Dame still has seven games remaining, it appears as if the season for Fort Wayne native Tyler Eifert is over.
The Irish are in the midst of a bye week, which the coaching staff uses to devote more time toward evaluating the freshman players and determining who will be candidates to redshirt. One such player will be Eifert, according to Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis.
“(Tyler) is in a unique situation,” Weis said of the first-year tight end out of Bishop Dwenger High School. “He has a back issue, and we've been nursing this for a few weeks.”
After seeing limited action in the season-opening game against Nevada, Eifert has dressed for, but not played in, the other four games.
As Weis explained, he had a number of options to consider when figuring out the best path for Eifert.
“(Tyler) needs to have a procedure done,” Weis said of the back injury.
“I'm going to wait until the fall break (the week of Oct. 18) because it's going to cost him some time.”
Having the procedure performed during fall break will enable Eifert to miss the least amount of class time, according to his coach, which was the determining factor in the decision.
“I had three choices,” Weis said. “I could have the procedure done now and have it affect his classes; have it done fall break and not have it affect his classes; or have it done after the season and have it get a lot worse as the year went on.
“So I've chosen the fall break, where it would have no bearing on his classes.”
With the procedure and subsequent rehabilitation, it more than likely means Eifert will not be available to play the remainder of this season.
Weis, however, felt the positive would be that Eifert will be in South Bend for an additional year at the end of his career.
“By having that procedure done, we might end up not having him for the rest of the year,” Weis said.
“The good news would be, by doing it that way, (Tyler) would be eligible for a medical redshirt (year), even though he's played (against Nevada).”