Derrick Jensen (American football)

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Derrick Jensen
No. 31
Position: Running Back / Tight End
Personal information
Date of birth: (1956-04-27)April 27, 1956
Place of birth: Waukegan, Illinois, U.S.
Date of death: April 7, 2017(2017-04-07) (aged 60)
Place of death: Panama City Beach, Florida, U.S.
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight: 221 lb (100 kg)
Career information
College: Texas-Arlington
NFL Draft: 1978 / Round: 3 / Pick: 57
Career history
Career NFL statistics
Receptions: 44
Total yards: 1,164
Total Touchdowns: 8

Derrick Jensen (April 27, 1956 – April 7, 2017) was a professional American football tight end in the National Football League. He played eight seasons for the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders. He scored a touchdown after blocking a punt in Super Bowl XVIII. Following his playing career, he worked as a scout for the Seattle Seahawks beginning in 1991. Jensen retired after being diagnosed with ALS in 2012.

High school and college career[edit]

Jensen grew up in Osawatomie, Kansas. While in high school, Jensen led the Osawatomie Trojans to their second state championship in 1973. OHS won its first state football championship in 1966 led by future Green Bay Packers QB Lynn Dickey. After graduating from Osawatomie High School, Jensen attended Texas-Arlington. Jensen was a two-time Southland Conference MVP while at Texas-Arlington. He finished his career with 3,346 rushing yards, the first player in conference history to top 3,000 yards.

Professional career[edit]

Jensen was a third-round draft choice of the Oakland Raiders in 1978 and played in 106 games, starting 21, in his career, including a streak of 105 straight. He served as the captain of the Raiders’ special teams for five seasons and contributed a blocked punt, which he recovered for the first touchdown, in the Raiders’ 38-9 win over the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl XVIII. He was also part of the Raiders’ Super Bowl XV championship team. He finished his Raiders career with 780 yards on 224 carries, with five touchdowns. He added 44 receptions and three scores and returned an onside kick 33 yards for a touchdown against the New York Giants in 1980.


Jensen's wife, Amanda, died as a result of an automobile accident on December 31, 2009. He and Amanda had one son, Davis, who was 12 years old at the time of his mother's passing.[1]


Jensen was diagnosed with ALS in 2012. He died of complications from the disease on April 7, 2017 at his home in Panama City Beach, Florida.[2][3]