Each team is able to activate one player from injured reserve under new league rules, but the Cardinals are unlikely to do so with Niklas, who is slated for at least four months of rehab on his wrist, according to Mike Jurecki of FOX Sports 910 Phoenix. In any case, Niklas wasn't making inroads on starting tight end Darren Fells and recorded precisely no yards on his sole catch this season. In a corresponding move, Ifeanyi Momah was promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster.
Niklas has received a consistent snap count this season, earning between 18 and 24 in the first three games, but he's been contained to blocking duties, as evidenced by one reception on two targets for no yards. If the third-year tight end is sidelined for any length of time, his reps will likely be redistributed between Darren Fells and Jermaine Gresham.
Niklas was promoted to first-string offense Tuesday, Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic reports.
Veteran Jermaine Gresham has been unable to dodge the injury bug in training camp, dealing with a hamstring injury early and back tightness of late. Meanwhile, Niklas has jumped to the good side of head coach Bruce Arians, which was likely precipitated by his blocking ability. It likely hasn't hurt that Niklas has so far avoided an ailment in camp for the first time in his two-plus seasons as a professional. If the development is upheld into Week 1, Niklas would serve as a starter in the Cardinals' two-TE alignment.
If Niklas has been lingering on dynasty benches since the Cardinals selected him in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, owners may be able to deploy the hulking tight this season. His first two campaigns weren't friendly from an injury standpoint, but avoiding the bug so far, he's showed off his blocking capability, which is a staple for tight ends within Arians' offense. Niklas has four preseason tilts to move past Darren Fells and Jermaine Gresham (hamstring) in the TE pecking order. However, when Niklas received 16 percent of the offensive snaps last year, he had a measly four catches for 33 yards and two touchdowns.
Troy Niklas reeled in all four targets for 33 yards and two touchdowns during the 2015 season.
Serving in a strict reserve role this season, Niklas nonetheless fared much better on the injury front, appearing in every game versus the seven that he was contained to as a rookie in 2014. However, both Darren Fells (restricted) and Jermaine Gresham (unrestricted) are free agents, which may result in a jump up the depth chart. Niklas' pedigree as a second-round pick would warrant such a promotion, but he still must put in the work to deserve an expanded target count.
|8||10/30/16||@ CAR||1:00 pm|
|Bye: Week 9|
|11||11/20/16||@ MIN||1:00 pm|
|12||11/27/16||@ ATL||1:00 pm|
|14||12/11/16||@ MIA||1:00 pm|
|16||12/24/16||@ SEA||4:25 pm|
|17||1/1/17||@ LAR||4:25 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
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