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Rodney Darnell "Lucky" Whitehead Jr.[1] (born June 2, 1992) is an American football wide receiver who currently plays for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He played college football at Florida Atlantic, and was signed by the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 2015. He has also been a member of the New York Jets.

Lucky Whitehead
refer to caption
Whitehead with the Dallas Cowboys in 2015
No. 7 – Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Position:Wide receiver
Personal information
Born: (1992-06-02) June 2, 1992 (age 27)
Manassas, Virginia
Height:5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight:177 lb (80 kg)
Career information
High school:Osbourn (Manassas, Virginia)
College:Florida Atlantic
Undrafted:2015
Career history
Roster status:Active
CFL status:International
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2018
Receptions:9
Receiving yards:64
Rushing yards:189
Return yards:1,151
Total touchdowns:0
Player stats at NFL.com
Career CFL statistics
Receptions:52
Receiving yards:521
Rushing yards:92
Total return yards:712
Total touchdowns:4
Player stats at PFR
Player stats at CFL.ca

Early years and high schoolEdit

Whitehead was born in Manassas, Virginia on June 2, 1992.[2] He attended George C. Round Elementary and Osbourn High School where he played wide receiver and cornerback on the football team, while being named All-Conference as a senior. Whitehead moved on to Dean College in Franklin, Massachusetts, where he played wide receiver and return specialist, receiving All-American and All-Conference honors. In 2013, he transferred to Florida Atlantic University and registered 284 all-purpose yards. As a senior, Whitehead was the team's slot receiver, registering 76 receptions, which led the conference, for 706 yards and six touchdowns, 21 carries for 210 yards and two touchdowns, and a 24.7-yard average on kickoff returns. He had a 73-yard punt return for a touchdown in his last college game against Old Dominion University

Professional careerEdit

Dallas CowboysEdit

2015 seasonEdit

Whitehead was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Dallas Cowboys after the 2015 NFL Draft.[3] He made the team as one of the players that was looked upon to replace the departed Dwayne Harris special teams production. Although wide receiver Cole Beasley was the assigned punt returner early in the season, because he provided better ball security, Whitehead was given opportunities until earning the returner role for the final six games. He only averaged 5.8 yards per attempt as a punt returner, but showed glimpses as a kickoff returner (28.3 yards avg.), like his 79-yard kickoff return against the Philadelphia Eagles or his key 46-yard kickoff return against the Washington Redskins to set up the game-winning field goal with 14 seconds left.[4] Whitehead was used on offense with special runs designed for him. In the sixth game of the season against the New York Giants, he set a franchise record for a wide receiver with four rushing attempts. He finished the 2015 season with 10 rushes for 107 yards and six receptions for 16 yards.[5]

2016 seasonEdit

In the preseason opener, which was the first NFL game in Los Angeles since 1994,[6] against the Los Angeles Rams at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Whitehead returned the opening kickoff 101 yards for a touchdown. In addition, he had one catch for six yards and one rushing attempt for 11 yards. In Week 6 against the Green Bay Packers, Whitehead caught a career-long 35-yard reception from quarterback Dak Prescott,[7] as well as a season-long 26 yard run.[8] Whitehead experienced problems during the season, like his critical fumble during a run against the Minnesota Vikings. The next week after being late to team meetings on the Saturday before the trip to New York, he was subsequently left home, fined and de-activated against the New York Giants.[9] Whitehead remained more effective as a runner out of the backfield than at wide receiver, and was inconsistent as a return specialist. He shared the returner role with Beasley and running back Lance Dunbar, especially in critical situations, when better ball security was required.[10] He had a total of three fumbles, losing two.

2017 seasonEdit

On July 24, 2017, it was revealed that Whitehead was facing misdemeanor petty larceny charges stemming from an arrest in June having stolen $25 of goods from a Wawa convenience store in Prince William County, Virginia and skipped court summons. Later that day after the team's first training camp practice, he was released by the Cowboys.[11][12] The charges were dropped and he was cleared by the police when it was determined the next day that the charges were based on mistaken identity.[13]

New York JetsEdit

On July 26, 2017, Whitehead was claimed off waivers by the New York Jets.[14] On August 16, 2017, it was revealed that Whitehead would undergo surgery for a fractured foot he suffered in practice, with an estimated recovery time of four to six weeks.[15] He was waived/injured on September 2, 2017 and was placed on injured reserve.[16] He was released by the team on September 11, 2017. He was re-signed to the Jets' practice squad on November 24, 2017.[17] He was promoted to the active roster on December 30, 2017.[18] On August 26, 2018, Whitehead was waived/injured by the Jets and was placed on injured reserve.[19] He was released on August 31, 2018.

Winnipeg Blue BombersEdit

Whitehead signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League (CFL) on May 9, 2019.[20] He had a breakout performance in Week 3 of the 2019 regular season, catching 7 passes for 155 yards with two touchdowns.[21] Whitehead finished the year with 52 catches for 521 yards and two touchdowns, one rushing touchdown, and one kickoff return for a score.

Personal lifeEdit

Whitehead was given the nickname "Lucky" by his cousin.[2] In July 2017, Whitehead posted on Instagram that his dog, Blitz, was stolen and held for ransom.[22] The following day, Whitehead posted on Snapchat, confirming that Blitz was safely returned to him.[23] Whitehead said that he refused to write a check for $10,000, as the perpetrator had initially demanded, but agreed to pay an undisclosed amount of money after making sure Blitz was okay.[23] He dated former teacher Priscilla Burgos of Emmett J. Conrad in 2018 then later broke up the same year.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Cowboys release Lucky Whitehead after missed arraignment on shoplifting charge". Washington Post. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Taylor, Nate (October 1, 2014). "Lucky Whitehead lives up to nickname for FAU". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
  3. ^ "Lucky Whitehead hopes No. 13 is lucky". Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  4. ^ "Cowboys WR Lucky Whitehead making big plays on offense, special teams". Retrieved February 5, 2017.
  5. ^ "Lucky Whitehead 2015 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  6. ^ Farmer, Sam (August 10, 2016). "Rams expand Coliseum capacity for Dallas, Seattle games - LA Times". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  7. ^ "Whitehead Logs First Reception of 2016 On Crucial Third Down". Dallas Cowboys. October 17, 2016. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  8. ^ "Lucky Whitehead 2016 Game Log". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved July 27, 2017.
  9. ^ "Cowboys WR Lucky Whitehead apologizes to teammates". Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  10. ^ "Whitehead Has Flashed Potential, But Remains Inconsistent". Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  11. ^ Phillips, Rob (July 24, 2017). "Cowboys Release Lucky Whitehead Following Reports Of WR's June Arrest". DallasCowboys.com.
  12. ^ "Cowboys cut Lucky Whitehead after reported arrest". NFL.com. July 24, 2017.
  13. ^ "Police say Lucky Whitehead was misidentified; arrested man gave false information". ESPN.com. July 26, 2017.
  14. ^ Allen, Eric (July 26, 2017). "Jets Claim WR-KR Lucky Whitehead". NewYorkJets.com.
  15. ^ "Lucky Whitehead to have surgery on foot". NFL. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
  16. ^ Lange, Randy (September 2, 2017). "Jets Reduce to 53 with 23 Player Moves". NewYorkJets.com.
  17. ^ Allen, Eric (November 24, 2017). "WR-KR Lucky Whitehead Added to Practice Squad". NewYorkJets.com.
  18. ^ Greenberg, Ethan (December 30, 2017). "Jets Place RB Forté on Injured Reserve". NewYorkJets.com.
  19. ^ Lange, Randy (August 26, 2018). "Jets Sign QB John Wolford". NewYorkJets.com.
  20. ^ "Bombers sign receiver Lucky Whitehead". Winnipeg Blue Bombers. May 9, 2019. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  21. ^ "2019-06-27 Game Tracker - Edmonton Eskimos vs. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (2568)". CFL.ca. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
  22. ^ Goldberg, Rob (July 17, 2017). "Cowboys WR Lucky Whitehead Says Dog Was Stolen, Being Held for Ransom". Bleacher Report. Retrieved July 18, 2017.
  23. ^ a b "Lucky Whitehead posts stolen dog Blitz is 'home safely'". ESPN. July 18, 2017. Retrieved July 18, 2017.

External linksEdit