Ben Niemann
refer to caption
Niemann with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2019
No. 56 – Arizona Cardinals
Position:Linebacker
Personal information
Born: (1995-07-27) July 27, 1995 (age 26)
Des Moines, Iowa
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:235 lb (107 kg)
Career information
High school:Sycamore
(Sycamore, Illinois)
College:Iowa
Undrafted:2018
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2021
Total tackles:167
Sacks:2.0
Forced fumbles:1
Fumble recoveries:5
Pass deflections:2
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Ben Niemann (born July 27, 1995) is an American football linebacker for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Iowa.

Early life and high school

Niemann was born in Des Moines, Iowa and moved several times growing up due to his father's job as a football coach. He attended Sycamore High School, in Sycamore, Illinois where he played football and basketball. In football, he played wide receiver and safety and was named first team all-state as a junior and senior.[1][2]

College career

Niemann played four seasons for the Iowa Hawkeyes, making 53 appearances and starting the last 40 games of his career.[3] He played mostly on special teams and as a reserve linebacker as a true freshman, blocking a punt and returning the ball for a touchdown against Northwestern. Niemann became a starter at outside linebacker for Iowa going into his sophomore year and garnered honorable mention All-Big Ten Conference honors after making 45 tackles (4.5 for loss), four QB sacks and two pass break-ups. He was named honorable mention All-Big Ten again as a senior after making 80 tackles (six for loss), a sack, five passes broken up and two forced fumbles. Over the course of his career, Niemann accumulated 201 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, two interceptions, and two forced fumbles.[4]

Professional career

Kansas City Chiefs

Niemann signed with the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent and made the final 53-man roster out of training camp.[5][6] He made his NFL debut on September 9, 2018 in the season opener against the Los Angeles Chargers, playing on special teams.[7] Niemann made his first career start on November 11 in the Chiefs 26–14 win over the Arizona Cardinals and led the team with 6 tackles.[8][9] Niemann finished his rookie season with 10 tackles made in 14 games played, mostly on special teams, and appeared in both the Chiefs postseason games, defending a pass in the endzone against the Indianapolis Colts in the divisional round and making two tackles on special teams in the AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots.[10]

Niemann finished the 2019 regular season with 56 tackles and a pass defended and a fumble recovery in 16 games played (one start).[11] Niemann had six tackles in the postseason, including a tackle and a hit on San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to force an errant throw on third down in the fourth quarter in the Chiefs Super Bowl LIV victory.[12]

In Week 3 of the 2020 season against the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football, Niemann recorded his first career sack on Lamar Jackson and recovered a fumble lost by Jackson during the 34–20 win.[13] Overall, in the 2020 season, Niemann finished with 44 total tackles, one sack, and one forced fumble.[14]

Niemann re-signed with the Chiefs on March 17, 2021.[15]

Arizona Cardinals

Niemann signed with the Arizona Cardinals on June 16, 2022.

Personal life

Niemann is the son of Jay and Lou Ann Niemann. His father is currently the Assistant Defensive Line Coach and Defensive Recruiting Coordinator for Iowa and had previously served as the Defensive Coordinator at Rutgers and Northern Illinois and as the head coach at Simpson College. He has a younger brother, Nick Niemann, who currently plays linebacker for the Los Angeles Chargers.[16]

References

  1. ^ "Football: 2012 IFCA All-State teams". Chicago Tribune. November 16, 2012. Retrieved October 23, 2019.
  2. ^ Lange, Millie (November 22, 2013). "IHSA All-State Football Teams Named". TheXRadio.com. Retrieved October 23, 2019.
  3. ^ McDowell, Sam (August 13, 2018). "This Chiefs player was arguably the biggest standout in the preseason opener". The Kansas City Star. KansasCity.com. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  4. ^ "2017 Roster-44 Ben Niemann-Stats". HawkeyeSports.com. Retrieved October 26, 2018.
  5. ^ Carifio, Eddie (July 20, 2018). "Sycamore grad Niemann signs with Chiefs". Daily Chronicle. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  6. ^ Sweeney, Pete (September 1, 2018). "How Ben Niemann beat out Ukeme Eligwe for the final Chiefs linebacker spot". Arrowhead Times. SB Nation. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  7. ^ "Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Chargers – September 9th, 2018 – Snap counts". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved September 28, 2018.
  8. ^ Sweeney, Pete; Trost, Aly (November 11, 2018). "Chiefs vs. Cardinals FINAL: Chiefs defeat Cardinals 26–14". Arrowhead Times. SB Nation. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  9. ^ "The morning after a Chiefs Week 10 victory". Chiefs Wire. USAToday.com. November 12, 2018. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  10. ^ Goldman, Charles (February 20, 2019). "Chiefs 2018 rookie season review: LB Ben Niemann". Chiefs Wire. USA Today. Retrieved July 15, 2019.
  11. ^ Bock, Sean (January 19, 2020). "Hitchens, Niemann win AFC Championship, advance to Super Bowl". 247Sports.com. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
  12. ^ "Sycamore grad Ben Niemann and the Chiefs comeback to win Super Bowl LIV". WIFR. February 2, 2020. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
  13. ^ "Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens – September 28th, 2020". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved September 29, 2020.
  14. ^ "Ben Niemann 2020 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  15. ^ Goldman, Charles (March 17, 2021). "Chiefs to re-sign LB Ben Niemann on one-year deal". USAToday.com. Retrieved June 24, 2021.
  16. ^ Kissel, BJ (August 28, 2018). "Football Has Always Come Easy to Chiefs' Rookie Linebacker Ben Niemann". Chiefs.com. Retrieved October 26, 2018.