|Date of birth:||April 19, 1968|
|Place of birth:||Santa Barbara, California|
|College:||San Jose State|
|NFL Draft:||1991 / Round: 7 / Pick: 193|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
Sheldon Lavell Canley (born April 19, 1968) is a former professional American football running back in the National Football League. He played professionally for the San Francisco 49ers and the New York Jets.
Canley was born in Santa Barbara, California and grew up in Lompoc, California, where he graduated from Lompoc High School. He attended Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, California where he earned an Associate of Arts degree in Liberal Arts. He then attended San Jose State University. At the end of his NCAA career in 1991, Canley was selected to play in both the East West Shrine Game and the Blue-Gray Football Classic all-star games.
Projected to be drafted higher, Canley was chosen by the San Francisco 49ers in the seventh round of the 1991 NFL Draft after severely injuring his hamstring muscle during the SJSU pro day. After spending his first season on injured reserve, Canley was eventually released, in part due to stiff competition in a 49ers offensive backfield that included former first-round pick Dexter Carter, Tom Rathman, and 1992 Pro-Bowler Ricky Watters (a fellow 1991 49ers draftee who coincidentally also sat out his entire rookie season due to injury).
Canley was signed off of waivers from the 49ers by the New York Jets. He would play in his only NFL regular season game with the Jets, rushing four times for nine yards in a 20-0 loss to the New Orleans Saints on 26 December 1992.
Canley was part of the 1994 Baltimore Stallions of the Canadian Football League, which eventually lost the Grey Cup game to the BC Lions, 23-20. Playing behind starter Mike Pringle, during the regular season Canley rushed 31 times for 143 yards and one touchdown, as well as caught six passes for 37 yards. He also made 13 tackles, mostly on special teams.
In 1995, Canley signed with the Denver Broncos of the NFL but was released after the pre-season. Again, strong competition from fellow running backs played a large part in his release; this time his teammates included 1995 Pro-Bowler Glyn Milburn and then-unknown rookie Terrell Davis.
- "San Jose State Sports Hall of Fame Adds Seven Greats". San Jose State Spartans. August 11, 2010. Retrieved October 6, 2011.
- "Sheldon Lavell Canley". databaseFootball.com. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
- "Sheldon Lavell Canley". Pro-Football-Reference.Com. Retrieved December 27, 2012.