Rams TE Kendall Blanton Relishes Opportunity in Super Bowl LVI With Tyler Higbee’s Status Unclear

Kendall Blanton figures to see a bulk of the tight terminate snaps in Super Bowl LVI against the Bengals.

A backup tight end is one of the most underappreciated positions in football. They are primarily tasked with blocking linemen, linebackers and blitzing safeties. Their work in the passing game is seldom displayed.

The Rams’ fill-in tight end Kendall Blanton is no dissimilar. Just, with the Rams often running eleven personnel – pregnant one tight end and one running back are on the field – Blanton rarely got his chance.

Blanton appeared on just 21% of the Rams’ offensive snaps during the regular season, primarily consuming the office as a backup tight finish. With little in-game experience, Blanton was forced to rely on mental reps to prepare for his take a chance.

“The coaches e’er say if you’re in a backup role or farther down the depth nautical chart, just get mental reps,” Blanton told reporters on Midweek on a video conference call. “A lot of working on my own, going over the scrips, if it’s walking through them in my flat or the parking lot.”

Blanton’s chance came during the NFC Championship game against the 49ers. With Tyler Higbee exiting due to a sprained MCL in the get-go half, Blanton was the Rams’ number one tight end target for the remainder of the game. He posted five catches for 57 yards – both logging career highs for the third-year histrion from Missouri. Blanton scored his outset career touchdown in the Divisional Round against the Buccaneers the week prior.

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Despite Higbee vowing to play Sunday, he was listed as a non-participant on the injury report for Wednesday’s walkthrough. While he’s looking similar a game-fourth dimension decision for Sunday’s game, Blanton believes Higbee could play in the Super Bowl.

“Don’t count Higbee out – he’southward a trouper, ane of the hardest working and toughest guys I know, so don’t be surprised if y’all meet No. 89 out in that location making plays,” Blanton said. “Just preparing to be a start, to play a lot, that’s something I’ve done since my rookie year.”

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Higbee missed ii games earlier this season, in which Blanton received his most pregnant snap counts of the flavor. Blanton was on the field for 90% of the offensive snaps in Week xiv against Arizona and 65% against Seattle. Blanton received 4 targets, which he turned into two catches for 29 yards beyond the two-game stretch of receiving adequate playing time in the middle part of the team’due south schedule.

Now expecting to earn a offset in the biggest game of his career, Blanton is trying non to let the Super Bowl pressure affect him.

“Let’s have some fun and play football game, human being,” Blanton said on his gameplan for Sunday. “I’k not making this any bigger than it needs to be in my caput. I don’t perform well when I arrive bigger than it needs to be.”

Even if Higbee suits upward for Dominicus’s contest, the existent question volition be how effective can he exist? Blanton figures to have a large role on Sunday regardless of Higbee’s status.

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Source: https://www.si.com/nfl/rams/news/rams-bengals-super-bowl-lvi-tyler-higbee-kendall-blanton