Griff Whalen

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Griff Whalen
refer to caption
Whalen with the San Diego Chargers in 2016
No. -- Free agent
Position: Wide receiver
Personal information
Date of birth: (1990-03-01) March 1, 1990 (age 27)
Place of birth: Detroit, Michigan
Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight: 190 lb (86 kg)
Career information
High school: Sylvania (OH) Southview
College: Stanford
Undrafted: 2012
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2016
Receptions: 47
Receiving yards: 509
Receiving average: 10.8
Receiving touchdowns: 3
Total return yards: 1,047
Player stats at

Griff Whalen (born March 1, 1990) is an American football wide receiver who is currently a free agent. He played college football at Stanford and was signed by the Indianapolis Colts as an undrafted free agent in 2012. Whalen has also been a member of the Miami Dolphins, San Diego Chargers and the New England Patriots.

College career[edit]

2008 season[edit]

Whalen made the Stanford football team as a walk-on and was one of eight true freshmen to see playing time in the 2008 season. He appeared in the Washington State game, earning a varsity letter.

2009 season[edit]

In 2009, Whalen worked his way into the wide receiver rotation. He appeared in 12 games and made two starts (Oregon and USC). His first career reception was in the season opener against Washington State. For the season, Whalen caught seven passes for 60 yards (8.6 average).

2010 season[edit]

In 2010, Whalen caught 17 passes for 249 yards and one touchdown in 13 games (one start). He caught one pass for 19 yards against UCLA before catching 11 passes for 154 yards and one touchdown in the next three games against Wake Forest (3 for 39), Notre Dame (3 for 37), and Oregon (5 for 78). He provided much-needed depth to the receiving corps in the early going, when Ryan Whalen and Chris Owusu were slowed with injuries. He caught a career-high five passes for 78 yards at Oregon, including his first career touchdown at the 5:06 mark of the first quarter on an 18-yard corner route from Luck.

2011 season[edit]

The 2011 season was Whalen's best statistical year at Stanford. He finished the 2011 season with 56 receptions for 749 yards and 4 touchdowns. His best statistical game came in a loss to Oregon. He finished with 9 receptions for 107 yards and 2 touchdowns. During the Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma State, he had 7 receptions for 85 yards. Stanford lost 38-41.[1] He was a finalist for the Burlsworth Trophy.[2]

College statistics[edit]

Year Team G Rec Yards Yds/Rec Long TDs Yds/G
2008 Stanford University 1 0 0 -- 0 0 -
2009 Stanford University 12 7 60 8.6 24 0 5.0
2010 Stanford University 13 17 249 14.6 27 1 19.2
2011 Stanford University 13 56 749 13.4 32 4 57.6
College Totals 39 80 1,058 13.2 32 5 27.1

Professional career[edit]

Indianapolis Colts[edit]


Whalen was signed by the Indianapolis Colts as an undrafted free agent following the 2012 NFL Draft on April 28, 2012,[3] joining fellow Stanford players Andrew Luck and Coby Fleener. On August 28, 2012, he was put on the injured reserve list for a broken foot, which occurred against the Pittsburgh Steelers.[4]


More hurdles were thrown Whalen’s way in 2013. His position on the active roster at the beginning of the season was due to second year wide-out LaVon Brazill's four-game suspension due to a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. Whalen was cut following Brazill’s return, but was quickly signed to the practice squad after impressing the Colts’ coaching staff. He was activated once again after Reggie Wayne’s season-ending ACL injury during the Week 7 victory over the Denver Broncos.

Following a second spell on the practice squad, Whalen returned to the active roster in Week 15 against the Houston Texans and started to offer a glimpse of the potential at his disposal. A career high 45 receiving yards and first touchdown catch against the Texans was followed by an 80-yard day in the impressive 23-7 road victory over the Kansas City Chiefs, a game in which Whalen led the Colts in receiving yards and receptions. His fine run of form continued in the 30-10 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 17, adding a second touchdown catch in three weeks.

He ended the year as starter with 24 receptions for 259 yards and 2 touchdowns.


Whalen with the Colts in 2014.

On November 22, 2014, the Colts promoted running back Zurlon Tipton to the active roster and waived Whalen. Up to that point, he had been used mostly as a kickoff and punt returner, and made just 2 receptions for 23 yards.[5] On November 25 Whalen was signed to the practice squad by the Colts.[6] On January 15, 2015, Whalen was promoted to the active roster when Josh McNary was placed on the Commissioner's Exempt list.[7]


On October 18, 2015 against the New England Patriots, Indianapolis coach Chuck Pagano called for a fake punt on 4th and 3 late in the third quarter with the Colts trailing 27-21. The play left Whalen snapping the ball to Colt Anderson with no Colts teammates blocking and two Patriots players standing over the ball. The play was stopped for a loss, the Patriots took over on downs and scored a touchdown en route to a 34-27 victory. The play was questioned by numerous NFL experts and players from around the league.[8] Just a week later, Whalen created a second disastrous special teams play, when he fumbled on a kick return which led to a touchdown in a game against the New Orleans Saints.[9] Whalen redeemed himself the following week against the Carolina Panthers by catching all five of his targets that came in the fourth quarter, helping send the game into overtime. Against the Denver Broncos, Whalen had 5 receptions for 73 yards, and was a crucial part to the Colts beating the then-undefeated Broncos.[10] On December 21, 2015, Whalen was placed on season-ending injured reserve.[11] On January 1, 2016, Whalen was waived by the Colts.[12]

Miami Dolphins[edit]

On March 18, 2016, Whalen signed with the Miami Dolphins,[13] but was waived on September 4, 2016 during final roster cuts.[14] He wore number 18.

San Diego Chargers[edit]

On September 19, 2016, Whalen signed with the San Diego Chargers.[15] He was released by the Chargers on November 22, 2016.[16]

New England Patriots[edit]

On December 9, 2016, Whalen was signed by the New England Patriots.[17] He was released by the Patriots on December 15, 2016.[18]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Season Team Games Receiving Rushing Fumbles
GP GS Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Att Yds Avg Lng TD FUM Lost
2013 Indianapolis Colts 9 3 24 259 10.8 25 2
2014 Indianapolis Colts 10 0 2 23 11.5 18 0 2 1
2015 Indianapolis Colts 14 0 19 205 10.8 38 1 4 2
2016 San Diego Chargers 8 0 2 22 11.0 12 0
Total 41 3 47 509 10.8 38 3 6 3


Season Team Games Receiving Rushing Fumbles
GP GS Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Att Yds Avg Lng TD FUM Lost
2013 Indianapolis Colts 2 1 7 93 13.3 22 0
Total 2 1 7 93 13.3 22 0


  1. ^ Griff Whalen 2011 Game Log Archived 2015-11-19 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ "Football: Whalen named finalist for walk-on award". November 30, 2011. Retrieved November 17, 2015. 
  3. ^ Colts sign fourteen Undrafted Free Agents
  4. ^
  5. ^ Patra, Kevin (November 22, 2014). "Colts promote Zurlon Tipton, waive Griff Whalen". Retrieved November 22, 2014. 
  6. ^ Holder, Stephen (November 25, 2014). "Griff Whalen re-joins Colts, signs on to practice squad". Retrieved November 25, 2014. 
  7. ^ Smith, Michael David (January 15, 2015). "Colts bring back Griff Whalen to take Josh McNary's spot". Retrieved January 15, 2015. 
  8. ^ Boston Globe
  9. ^ Fox Sports
  10. ^ Wilson, Josh (November 10, 2015). "Griff Whalen making the most of his opportunities with Colts' offense". Retrieved November 12, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Indianapolis Colts make roster moves". December 21, 2015. Retrieved December 21, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Indianapolis Colts make roster move". January 1, 2016. Retrieved January 1, 2016. 
  13. ^ "PRESS RELEASE: Miami Dolphins Sign Whalen". March 18, 2016. Retrieved March 19, 2016. 
  14. ^ Poupart, Alain. "Dolphins Acquire Hunter; Make Other Roster Moves". 
  15. ^ "Chargers Sign WR Griff Whalen, Place Danny Woodhead on IR". 
  16. ^ "Chargers Add Former Aztec RB Ronnie Hillman". November 22, 2016. Retrieved November 22, 2016. 
  17. ^ "Patriots sign WR Griff Whalen". December 9, 2016. 
  18. ^ "Patriots claim WR Michael Floyd off waivers from Arizona; Release WR Griff Whalen". December 15, 2016. 

External links[edit]