Mike Labinjo (July 8, 1980 – September 22, 2018) was a Canadian professional gridiron football player who played as a defensive end. He was a member of the Calgary Stampeders, Philadelphia Eagles, Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins.
|Born:||July 8, 1980|
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Died:||September 22, 2018 (aged 38)|
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
|Height||6 ft 0.5 in (184 cm)|
|Weight||284 lb (129 kg)|
|High school||St. Michael's College|
|CFL draft||2003 / Round: 3 / Pick: 25|
|Drafted by||Calgary Stampeders|
|Career highlights and awards|
Originally recruited as a running back, he moved to linebacker for his sophomore season. He started all 12 games as the strong side linebacker in 2001. As a junior Labinjo played in 12 games, including 8 starts. His senior season, 2003, proved to be his most productive collegiate year. Labinjo was the recipient of the Downtown Coaches Club Award as the outstanding senior on defense, after posting a career-high 94 tackles (58 solos) with five sacks for minus 43 yards and 11.5 stops for losses of 66 yards. He also recovered two fumbles, intercepted three passes and deflected five others.
After graduating from Michigan State University and earning a bachelor's degree in Economics and Finance in December 2003, Labinjo declared for the NFL Draft. The linebacker was not drafted by a National Football League franchise, but was drafted in the 2003 CFL Draft. His rights were selected by the Calgary Stampeders in the 3rd round, as the 25th overall selection.
National Football LeagueEdit
In 2004, Labinjo went to training camp with the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL and was signed as a linebacker. He appeared in 3 games, totalling 12 tackles (12 solo). 2005 was split between 3 teams: Beginning the season with the Philadelphia Eagles, Labinjo saw action in 5 games, including his only NFL career start, recording 5 tackles (5 solo) along the way. Labinjo was let go in the middle of the 2005 season by Philadelphia. He signed with the Indianapolis Colts for 2 games, registering 2 tackles (1 solo) and half a sack. Ultimately, he ended 2005 with the Miami Dolphins. In 2006, he played behind Miami Dolphins all-pro linebacker Zach Thomas. Labinjo was released by the Dolphins after the 2006 season and was signed by the Indianapolis Colts on March 14, 2007. He was released by the Colts on May 8, 2007.
Canadian Football LeagueEdit
Labinjo signed with the Calgary Stampeders on July 16, 2007 and he played in six games in his first CFL season before giving way to a season-ending elbow injury. He made two defensive tackles and four special teams tackles.
In the 2008 Calgary Stampeders season, Labinjo recorded 5 sacks, tying him for first on the team with Miguel Robede and Charleston Hughes. With 33 tackles, he was ninth on the Stampeders for tackles. He also had one catch for a one-yard touchdown. In the playoffs, Labinjo had 8 tackles and 3 sacks in the 2008 West Division final, to secure a berth in the 96th Grey Cup game. Labinjo was pivotal in the Stampeders' 22–14 victory over the Montreal Alouettes, registering three tackles, one sack, and four pass deflections.
On January 12, 2011, Labinjo was acquired by the Montreal Alouettes in exchange for future considerations. On January 19, 2011, the Alouettes voided the deal due to concerns about his surgically repaired elbow.
- "Stampeders' Labinjo dominating presence". thestar.com. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
- "Ex-Stampeder Labinjo dies at 38 - TSN.ca". TSN. 22 September 2018. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
- MSU Player Bio
- "Mike Labinjo College Stats". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
- CFL Player Bio
- "Mike Labinjo". Player Roster. Calgary Stampeder Football Club. Archived from the original on October 12, 2008. Retrieved 2009-02-17.
- "NFL Player Bio". NFL.com. National Football League. Retrieved 27 September 2018.
- "Mike Labinjo Stats". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
- Ralph, Dan (23 September 2018). "Former Calgary Stampeder linebacker Mike Labinjo dead at the age of 38". CTV News. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
- "Former Calgary Stampeder Mike Labinjo lifeless on the age of 38 - Canada Press". Canada Press. 23 September 2018. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
- "Calgary @ Montreal Sun Nov 23".
- Johnson, George (2009-06-08). "Dean of defence". Calgary Herald. Archived from the original on June 10, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-08.
- "Alouettes acquire Mike Labinjo". Montreal Alouettes. 2010-01-12. Retrieved 2011-01-12.
- "Labinjo a Stamp Again". Toronto Sun. 2011-01-19.
- "Labinjo Released".
- "Former Calgary Stampeder Mike Labinjo dies at 38". Global News. Retrieved 2018-09-23.
- "Former Michigan State LB Mike Labinjo dies at age 38". MLive.com. Retrieved 24 September 2018.