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Bengals’ starting TE looks to be a regular on the field in 2018 after being limited to just 10 in the past two seasons due to back and ankle injuries ... Placed on Reserve/Injured in October last season, finishing with four catches for 46 yards ... In 2016, missed training camp and did not play early in season due to rehab from ankle injury suffered in the ’15 season’s Pro Bowl, and then was further delayed by the back injury ... Despite missing three games to injury in 2015, he scored 13 TDs, the most ever by a Bengals TE and one short of the overall NFL lead.
Career transactions: Selected by Cincinnati in first round of 2013 NFL Draft (21st overall) ... Signed with Bengals on 7-15-13 ... Bengals exercised the option to extend contract by one year through 2017 on 4-13-16 ... Re-signed with Bengals as unrestricted free agent on 3-17-18.
2017 highlights: Played in two games, with one start ... Placed on Reserve/Injured list on Oct. 12 with back injury ... Finished season with four receptions for 46 yards ... Had 22-yard reception in final minute of second quarter on Sept. 14 vs. Houston that led to a Bengals FG.
Previous seasons: 2013—In NFL debut Sept. 8 at Chicago, on his 23rd birthday, caught five-for-47 ... Caught three-for-45 Oct. 20 at Detroit, scoring first NFL TD on 32-yard pass when he beat tight coverage and made catch while falling to ground in end zone ... Caught three-for-33 on Dec. 15 at Pittsburgh, with one-yard TD catch on fourth-and-goal play in fourth quarter ... Caught one-for-six on Dec. 22 vs. Minnesota before leaving game in first half with stinger, an injury that rendered him inactive for Game 16 and available for only three snaps in Wild Card playoff vs. San Diego.
2014—Started at TE on Sept. 7 at Baltimore and had three catches for 37 yards in first quarter before suffering a dislocated elbow ... Was placed Sept. 10 on Reserve/Injured list ... Was designated for possible return but was not recalled, and then had surgery in mid-December as follow-up to preseason shoulder injury.
2015—Played 13 games with 12 starts, and started in Wild Card playoff ... Inactive due to injuries for Games 12 and 14-15 ... His 13 TDs were most ever by a Bengals TE, surpassing previous mark of nine by Bob Trumpy (1969) and Rodney Holman (1989) ... Recipient of Bengals’ 2015 Ed Block Courage Award, which honors players who “demonstrate commitment to the values of sportsmanship and courage” ... Tied Bengals record for TDs in a game by a TE (three) on Nov. 5 vs. Cleveland ... Led all receivers on Sept. 13 at Oakland in catches (nine) and yards (104), and had TD receptions of 13 and eight yards ... On Oct. 11 vs. Seattle, logged eight catches for 90 yards and two TDs, and he also had a diving, fingertip 25-yard reception late in fourth quarter to put the Bengals in position for FG that sent game to overtime ... On Nov. 5 vs. Cleveland, had five catches for 53 yards and three TDs, tying Bob Trumpy’s 1969 Bengals record for most TDs in a game by a TE ... Two TDs on Nov. 22 at Arizona, beating tight coverage for a three-yard score in the first quarter and adding a 10-yarder in the fourth ... Exited game on Dec. 13 vs. Pittsburgh in first quarter with concussion, after catching two-for-42 ... Closed regular season Jan. 3 vs. Baltimore with four catches for 51 yards, including 22-yard TD from AJ McCarron ... In Wild Card playoff vs. Pittsburgh, tied for team receptions lead (five), gaining 58 yards.
2016—Played in Games 7-14 ... Missed preseason schedule, due to injury rehab (back), and inactive for Games 1-6, also due in part to back injury suffered after he returned to practice ... Inactive for Game 15 (back), and placed on Reserve/Injured list prior to Game 16 ... Logged 29 receptions for 394 yards, with five TDs ... Played 15 snaps in return to action Oct. 23 vs. Cleveland, with one reception for nine yards ... Caught nine-for-102 with a leaping grab for a 15-yard TD on Oct. 30 vs. Washington in London, and converted a pair of third downs ... On Nov. 14 at N.Y. Giants, led team in receiving yards (96), and his three catches included a career-long 71-yarder to set up a first-quarter TD, longest scrimmage gain of season for Bengals ... Caught five-for-68 on Nov. 27 at Baltimore, leading team in receiving yards, including three-yard TD ... Caught two passes for 25 yards Dec. 4 vs. Philadelphia, including diving grab in end zone for 13-yard TD ... TD catches of 14 and five yards Dec. 11 at Cleveland.
Pro Bowl participation: Earned first Pro Bowl nod for 2015 season game at Honolulu, selected in the initial voting ... Had one catch for 11 yards, playing for victorious Team Irvin, but suffered ankle injury that required surgery and caused him to miss Games 1-6 of 2016.
College: Played four seasons (2009-12) at Notre Dame ... Started every game as junior and senior ... His 140 catches were tops all-time for TEs at school known for great TE talent ... Had 1840 career receiving yards, with 11 TDs ... Winner of 2012 John Mackey Award, given annually to nation’s top college TE, and voted first-team All-American by Pro Football Weekly ... Averaged career-best 13.7 yards per catch in ’12, helping lead Irish to BCS national championship game ... Selected as team’s 2012 Offensive MVP, catching 50-for-685 with four TDs ... Team captain.
Personal: Hometown is Fort Wayne, Ind. ... Attended Bishop Dwenger High School, where as double-duty senior, he helped lead team to 14-1 record, catching 41-for-682 with 10 TDs and adding 97 tackles with four INTs (one for TD) ... Finance major at Notre Dame ... Brother, Grady, is a forward on Purdue’s basketball team ... Father, Greg, played basketball at Purdue, seeing action in 115 games under coach Gene Keady ... Enjoys hunting, golf and fishing ... Last name is pronounced “IE(rhymes with ‘tie’)-fert.”