Whalen with the San Diego Chargers in 2016
|Born:||March 1, 1990|
|Height:||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight:||190 lb (86 kg)|
|High school:||Sylvania Southview|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career NFL statistics as of 2017|
Griff Whalen (born March 1, 1990) is a 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, New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens, and Oakland Raiders, as well as for the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League.
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. In the game, he had two punt returns for 12 yards.
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).
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 quarterback Andrew Luck.
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. He was a finalist for the Burlsworth Trophy, which is an award given annually to the most outstanding FBS college football player who began his career as a walk-on.
Whalen was signed by the Indianapolis Colts as an undrafted free agent following the 2012 NFL Draft on April 28, 2012, 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.
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.
Whalen made his playoff debut against the Kansas City Chiefs in the Wild Card Round on January 4, 2014. In the 45–44 victory, he had two receptions for 26 yards. In the Divisional Round against the New England Patriots, he had five receptions for 67 yards in the 43–22 loss.
Overall, Whalen ended the year as a starter with 24 receptions for 259 yards and two 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. On November 25 Whalen was signed to the practice squad by the Colts. On January 15, 2015, Whalen was promoted to the active roster when Josh McNary was placed on the Commissioner's Exempt list.
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. In the game, he did score his first touchdown since the 2013 season with a late score to pull within a touchdown of the Patriots. 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. 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. On December 21, 2015, Whalen was placed on season-ending injured reserve. On January 1, 2016, Whalen was waived by the Colts.
San Diego Chargers
On September 19, 2016, Whalen signed with the San Diego Chargers. In his time with the Chargers, he recorded only two receptions for 22 yards in eight games. He was released by the Chargers on November 22, 2016.
New England Patriots
On July 15, 2017, Whalen participated in a developmental league game to provide additional film for NFL teams and scouts. During Spring League Summer Showcase, Whalen was the leading receiver of the game, recording 4 catches for 73 yards. On July 21, 2017, Whalen signed with the Baltimore Ravens. On September 1, 2017, he was released by the Ravens during final roster cuts. He was re-signed by the Ravens on October 19, 2017. He made his Ravens debut in Week 7 with four receptions for 23 yards against the Minnesota Vikings. In the next game, against the Miami Dolphins, he recorded a single punt return for two yards. He was released on October 31, 2017.
Whalen signed with the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL on May 14, 2019. Despite catching three passes for 73 yards and a score during the preseason, and having a family connection to Calgary, Whalen was released.
|2016||San Diego Chargers||8||0||2||22||11.0||12||0||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|
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- "Griff Whalen 2009 Game Log". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved November 10, 2017.
- "Griff Whalen 2010 Game Log". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved November 10, 2017.
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- "Colts' attempt at trick play goes horribly wrong – The Boston Globe".
- "Colts' Whalen struggles on special teams again". October 26, 2015.
- Wilson, Josh (November 10, 2015). "Griff Whalen making the most of his opportunities with Colts' offense". stampedeblue.com. Retrieved November 12, 2015.
- "Indianapolis Colts make roster moves". blogs.colts.com. December 21, 2015. Retrieved December 21, 2015.
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- "PRESS RELEASE: Miami Dolphins Sign Whalen". www.miamidolphins.com. March 18, 2016. Retrieved March 19, 2016.
- Poupart, Alain (September 4, 2016). "Dolphins Acquire Hunter; Make Other Roster Moves". MiamiDolphins.com. Archived from the original on November 29, 2017.
- "Chargers Sign WR Griff Whalen, Place Danny Woodhead on IR". Chargers.com.
- "Griff Whalen 2016 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved November 14, 2017.
- "Chargers Add Former Aztec RB Ronnie Hillman". Chargers.com. November 22, 2016. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
- "Patriots sign WR Griff Whalen". Patriots.com. December 9, 2016.
- "Patriots claim WR Michael Floyd off waivers from Arizona; Release WR Griff Whalen". Patriots.com. December 15, 2016.
- Downing, Garrett (July 21, 2017). "Ravens Sign Wide Receiver, Cornerback Before Training Camp Opens". BaltimoreRavens.com.
- Mink, Ryan (September 1, 2017). "Ravens Announce 24 Roster Moves, Have 13 More To Make". BaltimoreRavens.com. Archived from the original on January 18, 2018.
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- Mink, Ryan (October 31, 2017). "Danny Woodhead Cleared to Practice; Ravens Promote Offensive Lineman". BaltimoreRavens.com. Archived from the original on January 19, 2018.
- "Raiders Sign Wide Receiver Griff Whalen". Raiders.com. March 12, 2018.
- "Raiders Announce Transactions – 8.27.2018". Raiders.com. August 27, 2018.
- "Calgary Stampeders set for training camp with new look - Calgary Sun". May 14, 2019.
- "Stampeders welcome former NFLer to roster". Calgary. June 6, 2019.
- "Julan Lynch, Michael Kashak among Calgary Stampeders' end-of-camp cuts - Calgary Sun". June 9, 2019.
- "Vegan NFL Player Griff Whalen: The Plantpower Underdog On The Advantage of Self-Belief". Richroll.com. July 17, 2016. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
- Mink, Ryan (August 29, 2017). "The Caw: Ravens WR Griff Whalen Is Vegan, and He May Be Converting Teammates". BaltimoreRavens.com. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
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