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Arizona Cardinals training camp: Rookie Troy Niklas 'way behind,' but not 'super far behind'

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The rookie has to catch up after surgery and an injury.

Norm Hall

Arizona Cardinals rookie tight end Troy Niklas, drafted in the second round of this year's draft, has had some misfortune so far. He missed the first part of the offseason recovering from hernia surgery. Then, upon his return, he broke his hand in his first practice back, getting his finger caught in and twisted in a jersey.

He is back now in training camp, but he is playing catchup. As reported by Adam Green of Arizona Sports, head coach Bruce Arians said on Sunday that Niklas is "way behind."

"You just can't miss that kind of time as a rookie and then try to catch up not only to the assignments, but the speed of the game," Arians explained. "But he'll be fine."

Niklas told Green, "I wouldn't say I'm super far behind," as he stayed in his playbook and has studied as he should. He said he "felt like (he) knew what (he) was doing" in practice on Saturday.

Some fans noticed that he dropped a few passes.

No need to fear yet. As Arians said previously, NIklas would be wearing a soft cast on his previously broken hand for about a week and a half.

So, for perspective's purposes, Niklas dropped a few passes while wearing a cast. It's nothing to worry about.

Niklas is currently the fourth tight end on the depth chart. The order is John Carlson and Jake Ballard as the starters, with Rob Housler and Niklas behind them.

When Ballard missed practice on Sunday with a thigh bruise, it was Housler that stepped in, not Niklas.

Niklas has worked mostly with rookie Logan Thomas at quarterback.

Yes, Niklas is behind. That should be expected after missing time. But don't label him a bust yet. He has a cast and is working with a rookie quarterback who is considered a project.