Time to shine for Arizona Cardinals’ Troy Niklas


After two disappointing years with the Arizona Cardinals Troy Niklas may be turning the corner

The front office of the Arizona Cardinals likes to be right, especially when it comes to their 2nd round draft picks. So when tight end Troy Niklas was drafted in the 2nd round out of Notre Dame, much was expected.

Things didn’t quite work out for Niklas in his first two seasons. Injuries derailed his rookie year and he missed over half the season. He was able to stay healthy last season but managed only four receptions, although two did go for touchdowns.

Niklas was testing the Cards’ patience in a big way. He entered the current training camp behind both Jermaine Gresham and Darren Fells on the depth chart. A spot on the final roster would have to be earned by the 3rd year pro, nothing was promised.

His 2016 campaign is off to a roaring start. Already claimed training camp’s best tight end by head coach Bruce Arians, the real test would come in preseason games.

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Niklas passed his first test with flying colors, shining against the Oakland Raiders. He only caught two balls, but on one of the plays he showed what Arizona has been waiting to see. He took a pass from Drew Stanton, bounced off one tackler and ran over another for a 32 yard gain. On another play he found himself wide open in the end zone but Stanton somehow overthrew him.

As of now it appears the starting tight end job is Niklas’ to lose. Gresham is currently dealing with back tightness. Fells is a solid player but doesn’t appear to have the upside Niklas has. Ifeanyi Momah is coming off of a knee injury and had an uneven performance against the Raiders.

Niklas was once nicknamed “You’re wife’s favorite player” because of his apparent appeal to the ladies. He’s likable, always smiling and could easily become a fan favorite. If he wins the starting job don’t be surprised to see a plethora of Niklas jerseys circulating the Valley.

The Cardinals have shown patience in their young tight end. It’s time for a little payback.  It’s the least Niklas can do.