Niklas posted 11 receptions (on 23 targets) for 132 yards and one touchdown in 15 games during the 2017 season.
Selected in the second round of the 2014 draft, Niklas has been snake-bitten throughout four years in the NFL, almost entirely on the injury front. Entering this season, he was active in just 26 of a possible 48 games, but relative health (for him) resulted in 15 more appearances in 2017. Niklas rarely made an impact as a pass catcher, though, so whoever heads the new coaching staff may decide to move on, especially with tight ends Jermaine Gresham and Ricky Seals-Jones, a 2017 undrafted rookie, under contract through at least the upcoming campaign.
One week removed from his first absence of the season, Niklas increased his practice participation enough to earn a full designation at Friday's practice. With his health intact heading into the final game of the campaign, he likely will earn the second-most offensive snaps among Cardinals tight ends behind Jermaine Gresham.
NIklas was sidelined for last week's win over the Giants. He has seen his workload increase every day at practice throughout the week, so he appears to be trending in the right direction. Still, final confirmation on his status is unlikely to be determined until he tests his ankle out in warmups.
Niklas sat out Sunday's win over the Giants and was a non-participant at Wednesday's practice. The 25-year-old did not practice last week and will likely need at least another limited session Friday to be available for the season finale.
Niklas (ankle) didn't partake in practice Wednesday, Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com reports.
Niklas has yet to practice since injuring his ankle Week 15 at Washington. Until he does so, he doesn't appear to be a candidate to take the field Sunday in Seattle. If he logs another absence, Jermaine Gresham and Ricky Seals-Jones will hold down the fort at tight end.
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