Tyler Higbee

Latest On Rams TE Tyler Higbee

Tight end Tyler Higbee has transformed into a core member of the Rams offense, and it sounds like he’ll be ready to go for the start of training camp. According to Jourdan Rodrigue, Higbee is expected to be fully cleared from his knee injury by the start of the regular season (if not sooner).

Higbee suffered a knee injury during the NFC Championship Game, landing him on injured reserve and forcing him to miss the Rams Super Bowl victory. The injury later required surgery, and while the rehab meant Higbee couldn’t immediately dive into his offseason routine, he was already back to practicing by May.

“The knee’s coming along very well,” Higbee said at the time (h/t to Cameron DeSilva of USA Today). “I’ve been staying on top of rehab and getting after it, started getting on the field a couple of weeks ago; they’re slowly working me back in, knowing we’ve got some time before the season.”

Higbee, a former fourth-round pick, has had at least 40 receptions and 500 receiving yards in each of the past three seasons. With Matthew Stafford taking over in Los Angeles, Higbee continued producing on offense, finishing the 2021 campaign with 61 receptions for 560 yards and five touchdowns. In three playoff games, he added another nine receptions for 115 yards.

Former running backs coach Thomas Brown is now taking over as the Rams TE coach. If Higbee is slowed a bit to start training camp, Brown will have some depth to turn to for reps. While the team lost number-two tight end Johnny Mundt this offseason, they’re still rostering the likes of Kendall Blanton, Brycen Hopkins, Kyle Markway, Roger Carter, Jamal Pettigrew, and Jared Pinkney.

NFC Rumors: Jenkins, Eagles, Seahawks, Rams

Offensive lineman Teven Jenkins was taken in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft last year by the Chicago Bears, but only got a small portion of his rookie season to earn a spot on the line. Well, according to Adam Jahns of The Athletic, the new Bears’ staff is giving him the best chance, alongside fellow 2021 Draft pick Larry Borom, to start at right or left tackle.

Jenkins underwent back surgery in the preseason last year and was placed on injured reserve. He returned and made his debut in early December, playing on special teams. An injury to left tackle Jason Peters opened the door for Jenkins and he subbed in for the next two weeks, returning to a reserve role after that.

New offensive line coach Chris Morgan has been pleasantly surprised by the two second-year players, so far, but remarks that “everything changes once the pads come on.” It appears, though, that, for now, the starting tackle jobs are Jenkins and Borom’s to lose.

Here are some other rumors from around the NFC, starting with a rumor out of the City of Brotherly Love:

  • The Eagles were the franchise that mercifully and excitedly put an end to the slide of presumed first-round pick Nakobe Dean. Dean ended up falling to the third round due to projections about his long-term health. The Eagles could’ve gone another route, though, according to Zach Berman of The Athletic. Berman says that Philadelphia reportedly had multiple trade offers to move back from the pick they used to select Dean. Due to their significant lack of of Day 3 picks, it would have made all of the sense in the world for them to take one of those teams up on their offers, but, lo and behold, the Eagles stood pat and drafted Dean, a testament to the confidence they have in his addition.
  • The Eagles weren’t the only team looking at the possibility of moving. According to Brady Henderson of ESPN, “the Seahawks tried to trade up into the late first round” of the 2022 NFL Draft for Penn State outside linebacker Arnold Ebiketie. Like Philadelphia, Seattle stood pat, hoping he may slide to them in the second round. Unfortunately for the Seahawks, Atlanta moved up to select Ebiketie two spots in front of them. Seattle ended up selecting Minnesota outside linebacker Boye Mafe instead. Mafe is no consolation prize but a strong pick in his own regard, having generated first-round buzz before slipping to the front of the second round. Seattle swung and missed on Ebiketie, but they most certainly did not strike out when they landed Mafe.
  • The Rams won Super Bowl LVI despite the losses before the game of tight end Tyler Higbee and safety Jordan Fuller. Fuller suffered an ankle injury in the team’s Week 18 loss to the 49ers and Higbee suffered a knee injury in the NFC Championship game. Both players underwent offseason surgery and, according to Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic, are “working their way back up to full football activity.”

Rams Move Tyler Higbee, Joe Noteboom To IR; Darrell Henderson, Sebastian Joseph-Day Back On Roster

The Rams are on track to see some familiar faces in uniform Sunday. The anticipated activations of Darrell Henderson and Sebastian Joseph-Day took place Friday.

But the NFC champions are now certain to be without Tyler Higbee and backup offensive lineman Joe Noteboom. The Rams placed both on IR to make room for Henderson and Joseph-Day. The sprained MCL Higbee suffered in the NFC championship game prevented him from practicing this week.

While the Bengals are likely to see C.J. Uzomah return to action after his championship-round injury, the Rams will be forced to use backups. Kendall Blanton and second-year cog Brycen Hopkins are the only other active-roster tight ends for Los Angeles. The former made key contributions against the 49ers, catching five passes for 57 yards. This came after Blanton scored a touchdown against the Buccaneers. Higbee’s absence will move Blanton into a key auxiliary role in the passing game.

This would have been Higbee’s second Super Bowl. He played against the Patriots in Super Bowl LIII but did not catch a pass. This season, the Rams turned to Higbee more frequently, having let Gerald Everett walk in free agency. Higbee finished with 61 receptions for 560 yards and five touchdowns this season.

Noteboom has served as Andrew Whitworth‘s backup for the past two seasons. He stepped in for the 40-year-old left tackle starter against the Bucs but did not play in the NFC championship game. A chest injury will wrap Noteboom’s season early. A 2018 third-round pick, Noteboom is set to be a free agent next month. Whitworth returned for the 49ers matchup and will make his Super Bowl debut Sunday.

Henderson also suffered an MCL sprain and has not played since Week 16. While the third-year running back started for most of this season, his role almost certainly will be minimized upon return. Sony Michel had begun to eat into Henderson’s workload late in the season, and Cam Akers has since made his return to action. Still, the Rams will soon have a deep backfield for Super Bowl LVI. It will be the first time Henderson, Akers and Michel will each be available.

Joseph-Day has not played since Week 7, having suffered a chest injury that required surgery. The third-year interior D-lineman has been a Rams starter for most of his career. Prior to going down in October, Joseph-Day had registered a career-high three sacks. This stands to bolster L.A.’s depth up front and present an embattled Bengals offensive line with another challenge.

Latest On Rams’ TE Higbee

During the NFC Championship game tonight, the Rams saw starting tight end Tyler Higbee go down with a knee injury in the first quarter. They’ll be eager to determine the severity of Higbee’s injury this week, as they prepare to host Super Bowl LVI. 

The sixth-year tight end was second on the team this year in receptions and third on the team in receiving yards and touchdowns. Coming into tonight’s game, Higbee had 7 catches for 97 yards in the Rams’ first two playoff games. He had reeled in 2 receptions for 18 yards before leaving tonight.

With backup tight ends Brycen Hopkins, Johnny Mundt, and rookie Jacob Harris all injured, Los Angeles turned to Kendall Blanton. The former undrafted free agent showed up when his name was called, catching all five of his targets for 57 yards.

The Rams will likely look into Higbee’s injury early this week and determine their course of action from there. Whether they can return him to practice immediately, need to hold him out to rest, or need to prepare to play a Super Bowl with Blanton in the starting lineup, the Rams have two weeks to come up with a plan.

NFL COVID List Updates: 12/24/21

We’ve compiled a list of players who were placed on or activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list today. In some instances, players activated from the list remain on IR:

Baltimore Ravens

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: S Chuck Clark, C Trystan Colon
  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: RB Nate McCrary
  • Placed on practice squad/COVID-19 list: QB Chris Streveler

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: DB Jordan Fuller, TE Tyler Higbee
  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: OL Cole Williamson

Miami Dolphins

  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: RB Gerrid Doaks

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: RB Travis Homer
  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: OL Pier-Olivier Lestage

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/17/21

Today’s minor moves:

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Los Angeles Rams

New Orleans Saints

  • Activated from Reserve/COVID-19 List: RB Mark Ingram

New York Giants

Washington Football Team

Rams Place Jalen Ramsey, Tyler Higbee On COVID-19 List

The Rams have placed cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey and Dont’e Deayon , along with tight end Tyler Higbee on the COVID-19 reserve list, per a club announcement. As well, Robert Rochell has been placed on Injured Reserve. With that, all four players will be ineligible for tonight’s marquee matchup against the Cardinals. 

The Cardinals can effectively lock up the NFC West crown with a win tonight, leaving the Rams to jockey for Wild Card placement. If Arizona was to complete the season sweep of L.A., they would remain atop the NFC at 11-2, while the loss would drop the Rams to 8-5.

Ramsey’s absence is a huge loss for a secondary that will be facing a Cardinals attack which has recently gotten back to full strength with a healthy Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins. Ramsey has 59 tackles and three interception in 2021. Without him, Darious Williams will be forced into an even heavier workload, as will David Long Jr., as the Rams’ cornerback room is suddenly dangerously thin.

Offensively, the loss of Higbee will be felt in the Rams’ passing attack. He had produced 44 receptions for 395 yards and three touchdowns so far this year. Already without wide receiver Robert Woods for the remainder of 2021, even more snaps and targets will likely be coming the way of recently-acquired Odell Beckham Jr. along with sophomore Van Jefferson.

The Cardinals won the first matchup of the season, 37-20, in Week 4. Even more than initially thought, Beckham along with Von Miller – both of whom were acquired after that game – will be counted on for the Rams.

NFC West Rumors: Hicks, Higbee, 49ers

One of two Cardinals linebackers mentioned in trade rumors this offseason, Jordan Hicks will join Chandler Jones in being with the team when it begins its season Sunday. The Cardinals gave Hicks permission to seek a trade in May, after drafting Zaven Collins in Round 1 and anointing him the starter alongside Isaiah Simmons. But nothing materialized. GM Steve Keim said Hicks, despite his demotion, will play “a strong role” on this year’s Arizona defense, via Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com. Citing Simmons’ positional flexibility, Keim said there will be times when Simmons, Collins and Hicks line up together. The Cards have devoted considerable resources to their off-ball linebacker spots, drafting Simmons and Collins in the first round — after taking Haason Reddick in the 2017 first round and slotting him off the ball for most of his run — and signing Hicks to a four-year, $36MM deal in 2019. Hicks accepted a $3MM salary cut in March, and the 32-game Cardinal starter’s workload will certainly be reduced from the 100% and 92% defensive snap rates of the past two seasons.

Here is the latest from the NFC West:

  • The Rams still reside near the bottom of the NFL in cap space, but they created some breathing room by restructuring Tyler Higbee‘s deal. The team added $1.65MM in space by moving some of Higbee’s base salary into a signing bonus, Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com tweets. Prior to this move, the franchise held less than $1MM in cap room. Higbee signed a four-year, $31MM extension in 2019. This week’s move dropped his 2021 base salary to just more than $1MM.
  • Josh Norman is set to play a 10th NFL season and do so with a fourth team, having signed with the 49ers this week. However, Norman’s camp and the 49ers discussed a deal for months, the veteran cornerback said Friday (via KNBR). Norman, 33, has played with Carolina, Washington and Buffalo. He will join a 49ers team that was already thin at cornerback before listing Emmanuel Moseley as doubtful for Week 1. San Francisco has injury-prone Jason Verrett stationed as its other top outside corner. Norman, who has not returned to a Pro Bowl since his standout 2015 contract year, played 344 defensive snaps with the Bills last season.
  • The 49ers will begin their season without one of their assistant coaches. Linebackers coach Johnny Holland recently stepped away from the team due to a battle with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells, Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com notes. This is the second time Holland has left the 49ers because of his cancer battle; he did so in 2019 after initially being diagnosed. The fifth-year 49ers assistant began treatment this week. Holland, 56, has been an NFL assistant for more than 20 years, beginning in 1995 with the Packers, for whom he played linebacker in the late 1980s and early ’90s. Holland has worked with Kyle Shanahan dating back to their days as Texans assistants in the 2000s.

Injury Roundup: Hilton, Lions, Bolts, Rams

It’s looking like the Colts‘ passing attack will have to operate without its top weapon Sunday. T.Y. Hilton drew a doubtful designation on Indianapolis’ Friday injury report. He did not practice all week. The eighth-year wideout left the Colts’ Week 3 win with a quadriceps injury, and although the Raiders enter Week 4 ranked 30th in pass defense DVOA, the Colts went 0-2 without Hilton last season. They are already down previous starter Devin Funchess, who sits on IR. The Colts also ruled Darius Leonard out for a second straight week. The All-Pro linebacker remains in concussion protocol.

Here is the latest from the Week 4 injury front:

  • Matthew Stafford popped up on the Lions‘ injury report Friday; he’s listed as questionable with a hip malady. While Stafford should be expected to play, given that he’s played through injuries in recent years and holds the league’s third-longest active start streak among QBs with 131, this is a less-than-ideal scenario going into a key inter-conference matchup with the Chiefs. Rookie UDFA David Blough has been Stafford’s backup this season, though Jeff Driskel is now on Detroit’s 53-man roster.
  • That matchup will not include Chiefs starting running back Damien Williams, who will miss a second straight game with a knee ailment. LeSean McCoy put together two full practices this week and will likely team up with Darrel Williams, as he did last week, in Detroit.
  • Good news for the Rams‘ offense. Sean McVay said both Austin Blythe and Tyler Higbee will be available against the Buccaneers on Sunday, per Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Blythe missed Los Angeles’ Week 3 game with a sprained ankle, while Higbee has been sidelined with a lung contusion.
  • Another Chargers game will unfold without their primary kicker option. The Bolts ruled out Michael Badgley for a fourth straight contest. Punter Ty Long‘s multipurpose afternoons will continue. Long made both of his field goal tries last week after missing two in Week 2.
  • Additionally for the Bolts, they will be without Mike Williams. He’s been declared out with a back injury. Travis Benjamin will head to Miami as doubtful to play, meaning Dontrelle Inman and Geremy Davis stand as the Chargers’ only two healthy auxiliary wideouts. This marks Williams’ second injury of the season. A knee problem plagued the third-year target earlier this month but did not force him to miss any time.
  • The Vikings‘ No. 2-ranked rushing attack will be tested in Chicago this week, and right guard starter Josh Kline will not play a part in the NFC North contest. The free agent acquisition will miss Sunday’s game with a concussion that kept him out of practice this week. This will end Kline’s 49-start streak. Veteran Dakota Dozier will start, per Mark Craig of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Dozier has started eight games in his six-season career, which included a Week 2 start in place of Pat Elflein.

Rams, Tyler Higbee Agree To Extension

Another day, another extension for the Rams. On Thursday morning, they reached agreement on a new four-year deal with tight end Tyler Higbee (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter). 

[RELATED: Rams, Jared Goff Agree To Extension]

After Tuesday’s massive deal for Jared Goff, the Rams managed to lock up one of the quarterback’s favorite targets. The new pact will keep Higbee’s 2019 agreement in tact while locking him up through the 2023 season.

The 26-year-old is one of the game’s most promising young TEs, and the new deal pays him accordingly – he’s cracked the top ten at the position for average yearly compensation. The deal has a base value of $31.025MM, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter) hears. He’s guaranteed $15.5MM and, with incentives, he could earn up to $36MM.

The fourth-year pro shares L.A’s tight end spotlight with Gerald Everett, though Everett is utilized more as a receiver. Last year, Higbee finished out with 24 catches for 292 yards and two scores.