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Tyler Higbee's consistent work ethic rewarded with franchise career records for tight end position

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Rams tight end Tyler Higbee was aware he was on the cusp of a couple of the major career franchise records for his position, but it wasn't his focus by any means.

Each answer gave when asked about his production last Sunday against the Broncos was about doing what he could to help the team succeed – spending more time discussing that than reflection on what the milestones meant to him.

"Pretty cool. I was aware of a couple of them, but not really my concern," Higbee said postgame. "Trying to win a football game, doing what I can to help this team win."

Higbee needed only one touchdown to break Damone Johnson's franchise career record for touchdowns by a tight end entering Week 16 and ended up with two, getting him to 20 for his career. He entered the game already owning the franchise career receptions and receiving yards records for his position.

From both an individual and team standpoint, the milestones are a moment to celebrate in a year that didn't go the way Higbee and the Rams expected. While his numbers statistically align with what he's averaged over the previous six seasons, his own sentiment indicates he'd rather he producing that during a winning season in which the Rams are vying for a chance to repeat as Super Bowl champions – especially when he had to miss to Super Bowl LVI due to a knee injury.

Still, Higbee has shown up every week, and teammates notice.

"Just the absolute consistency that guy has – he came off a tough injury late during our playoff push last year, and he was hurting to get out there with the boys and everything," right tackle Rob Havenstein said. "The amount of work that guy puts in, the amount of time he puts in to his body, the playbook, the team in general, is absolutely awesome for him. He's one of our bigger sparks on offense, he brings a lot of swag, and it's fun to see and something for the team to build off of."

Higbee took his first step toward the touchdown milestone when he caught his first one of the season in Week 15 against the Packers. But even without plays like that, he's been steady and consistent, even while "battling through a lot of different things," according to Rams head coach Sean McVay.

"I think he's done a great job," McVay said last week. "He's been such an instrumental part of all the good things since I've been fortunate enough to get here and obviously his rookie year was 2016. But I've loved what he's developed into. I've loved the person that he is, the consistency at which he approaches the days. Similar to what I was saying about (linebacker) Bobby Wagner when you guys have asked over the last month or last handful of weeks, Higbee's kind of been one and the same. "

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