Griff Whalen

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Griff Whalen
Griff Whalen.JPG
Whalen in 2014.
No. 17 Indianapolis Colts
Position: Wide receiver
Return specialist
Personal information
Date of birth: (1990-03-01) March 1, 1990 (age 25)
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
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 11, 2015
Receptions: 41
Receiving yards: 469
Receiving average: 11.4
Receiving TDs: 3
Total return yards: 1,021
Stats at

Griff Whalen (born March 1, 1990) is an American football wide receiver for the Indianapolis Colts of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Stanford and was signed by the Colts as an undrafted free agent in 2012, remaining with former college teammates Andrew Luck and Coby Fleener.

College career[edit]


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


In 2009, Whalen worked his way into the 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).


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 (3-39), Notre Dame (3-37) and Oregon (5-78). 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 was Whalen's best statistical year. 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 and 85 yards. Stanford lost 38-41.[1] He was a finalist for the Burlsworth trophy.[2]

College Stats[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 1058 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.


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.


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.[4] On November 25 Whalen was signed to the practice squad by the Colts.[5] On January 15, 2015, Whalen was promoted to the active roster when Josh McNary was placed on the Commissioner's Exempt list.[6]


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 trailng 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.[7] Just a week later, Whalen created a second disastrous special teams play, when he fumbled on a kick return which lead to a touchdown in a game against the New Orleans Saints. [8] Whalen redeemed himself the following week against the Carolina Panthers by catching all 5 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.[9]

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 9 0 13 167 12.8 38 1 3 1
Total 28 3 39 449 11.5 38 3 5 2


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
  2. ^ "Football: Whalen named finalist for walk-on award". November 30, 2011. Retrieved November 17, 2015. 
  3. ^ Colts sign fourteen Undrafted Free Agents
  4. ^ Patra, Kevin (November 22, 2014). "Colts promote Zurlon Tipton, waive Griff Whalen". Retrieved November 22, 2014. 
  5. ^ Holder, Stephen (November 25, 2014). "Griff Whalen re-joins Colts, signs on to practice squad". Retrieved November 25, 2014. 
  6. ^ Smith, Michael David (January 15, 2015). "Colts bring back Griff Whalen to take Josh McNary’s spot". Retrieved January 15, 2015. 
  7. ^ Boston Globe
  8. ^ Fox Sports
  9. ^ Wilson, Josh (November 10, 2015). "Griff Whalen making the most of his opportunities with Colts' offense". Retrieved November 12, 2015. 

External links[edit]