March 27, 2023
Higbee smashes TE records for Rams by intertwining with Mayfield

THOUSAND OAKS, California (AP) — Whereas Tyler Higbee has spent his total NFL profession in a single helmet, the Rams did not take a direct path to changing into essentially the most prolific onerous ending in franchise historical past.

Higbee’s manufacturing has skyrocketed and plummeted wildly over the course of seven seasons as a consequence of his well being, the Rams’ sport plans, and his ties to varied quarterbacks. He entered the season two objectives behind Damone Johnson and scored tight for the crew document – however didn’t rating any objectives till Week 15.

Higbee later made up for a number of the time misplaced at Christmas, arranging 9 catches and two touchdowns for 94 yards on the Rams’ 51-14 course at Denver. Higbee additionally took his 3,000 profession yards throughout the sport, whereas firmly increasing his personal franchise information for receptions (299) and yardage (3,063).

The 2016 fourth-round decide from Western Kentucky now holds each main purchaser’s notice for onerous work, with a franchise that started enjoying in 1936. Higbee cares extra about wins, however is grateful for some recognition for his carving profession. It is largely underneath the radar with the Rams (5-10).

“Perhaps I will have a while to consider it after the season, however that is particular,” Higbee mentioned. “I spent plenty of time, I labored onerous, I struggled with some challenges and accidents, issues like that. It is a non-public franchise and it is fairly cool to have the ability to maintain it.”

Higbee is the sphere chief among the many Rams’ wholesome gamers this season, however hasn’t had constant alternatives. His luck has risen sharply because the arrival of Baker Mayfield, who instantly recognized Higbee as a good selection because of the Rams’ restricted information of the playbook and workers.

Higbee responded with 15 captures and three TDs at 19 targets at 132 yards in three video games, with Mayfield describing Higbee succinctly as “a giant, pleasant goal”.

“I do know she’s been shaken up a bit over the yr, and I believe she’s feeling higher now,” Mayfield added. “Hats off to the franchise document holder. That is actually particular. I did not know you had been this near him. I’m joyful to be right here and to be part of it.”

The Rams have fielded numerous gifted offensive gamers over the many years, however they’ve by no means had a decent finish with Higbee’s stamina or productiveness. As the principle tight finish of the Biggest Present on Turf in St. Louis, Ernie Conwell hasn’t had a season with numbers that come near what Higbee does regularly.

Higbee is the final remaining member of the Rams’ first draft class after returning house to Los Angeles in 2016. He had 4 consecutive 500-yard pick-up seasons for Sean McVay’s offense, at the same time as his alternatives fluctuated wildly.

“I am simply attempting to do my job and play the sport when the ball finds me,” Higbee mentioned. “It is all the time nice to get into the top zone and be capable to have a good time with the youngsters.”

Higbee has remained constant and principally wholesome all through his profession, enjoying in a minimum of 15 video games over the seven seasons of his profession – however he missed out on the Rams’ Tremendous Bowl victory over Cincinnati final February. He suffered a knee damage within the first quarter of the NFC championship sport, forcing him to look at his teammates’ championship victory from the sidelines.

A yr later, Higbee and right-handed Rob Havenstein grew to become the Rams’ solely offensive gamers to begin all 15 video games. On Sunday, the Rams will return to work after they play the Chargers.

“Clearly the season did not go the best way we needed, however it simply reveals the resilience of those guys to come back out and compete,” Higbee mentioned. “It feels good to be on the best facet.”

NOTES: Mayfield feels it isn’t the best time to consider his future: “After this (season) I am a free agent so I did not assume a lot of it. I simply attempt to roll with it sooner or later at a time. However sure, we’ll see. It ought to be attention-grabbing, however it does not all begin earlier than March anyway, so we’ll see the way it goes.” …LT Ty Nsekhe (sickness) missed the Rams evaluate. … LB Bobby Wagner, DT Larrell Murchison’s Denver He mentioned he is been principally quiet amongst his new teammates within the two weeks main as much as his two-sack efficiency in opposition to . smiling. He labored onerous to know the plan and the nuances of the protection and it was actually enjoyable to look at him having enjoyable outdoors.”


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