Contrary to popular belief, the expected demise of the 30 year old Baltimore Ravens tight end, Todd Heap, have been greatly exaggerated. Heap is in the midst of his tenth NFL season and was expected to be challenged for playing time by both of the rookie tight ends that the team drafted in the third and fourth rounds of the 2010 NFL Draft.
However, along the way, no one told Heap that he was done for his career and is actually having what many people are saying is a possible Pro Bowl-type of season. Through eleven games, Heap has 37 receptions for 546 yards and five touchdowns. He is averaging 14.8 yards per catch and to really understand his value, his 37 catches have resulted in 29 first downs. He may not reach his season high for receptions (75 in 2005, but will come close to setting a personal high in yardage (855 in 2005) and touchdowns (7 in 2005).
Critics speak about durability, which is deceiving, as Heap has played all 16 games for the past two seasons after only playing six in 2007. In fact, it was mentioned that Todd played more snaps in 2009 than any other tight end in the entire league. Some people think his falloff in production from that stellar 2005 season is indicative of his career coming to an end but it may have been more due to his blocking abilities in pass protection being needed more than sending him out to run receiving routes.
Either way, Heap is far from done and those rookies will continue to have to find other ways to get on the field, as Todd is not planning to go anywhere anytime soon, other than downfield for more receptions. Obviously, the Ravens Todd Heap has "powered through" the adversity!