Griff Whalen
Whalen with the San Diego Chargers in 2016
Wide receiver
Personal information
Date of birth: (1990-03-01) March 1, 1990 (age 30)
Place of birth: Detroit, Michigan
Career information
College: Stanford
Undrafted in 2012
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
* Indianapolis Colts ( 2012 2015)
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2017
Receptions     51
Receiving yards     532
Receiving average     10.4
Receiving touchdowns     3
Total return yards     1,079

Griff Whalen (born March 1, 1990) is a football wide receiver. 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.

College careerEdit

Whalen played for the Stanford Cardinal from 2008–2011. He was roommates with quarterback Andrew Luck for three years.[1] While at Stanford, he played on the club lacrosse team in one season.[2]

2008 seasonEdit

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.[3][4]

2009 seasonEdit

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.[5] For the season, Whalen caught seven passes for 60 yards (8.6 average).[6]

2010 seasonEdit

In 2010, Whalen caught 17 passes for 249 yards and one touchdown in 13 games (one start).[7] He caught one pass for 19 yards against UCLA[8] before catching 11 passes for 154 yards and one touchdown in the next three games against Wake Forest (3 for 39),[9] Notre Dame (3 for 37),[10] and Oregon (5 for 78).[11] 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.

2011 seasonEdit

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.[12] His best statistical game came in a loss to Oregon. He finished with 9 receptions for 107 yards and 2 touchdowns.[13] During the Fiesta Bowl against Oklahoma State, he had 7 receptions for 85 yards. Stanford lost 38–41.[14] 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.[15]

College statisticsEdit

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 1,058 13.2 32 5 27.1

Professional careerEdit

Indianapolis ColtsEdit

2012 Edit

Whalen was signed by the Indianapolis Colts as an undrafted free agent following the 2012 NFL Draft on April 28, 2012,[16] joining fellow Stanford players Andrew Luck and Coby Fleener.[17] On August 28, 2012, he was put on the injured reserve list for a broken foot, which occurred against the Pittsburgh Steelers.[18]

2013 Edit

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.[19]

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.[20][20] 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.[21]

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.[22] In the Divisional Round against the New England Patriots, he had five receptions for 67 yards in the 43–22 loss.[23]

Overall, Whalen ended the year as a starter with 24 receptions for 259 yards and two touchdowns.[24]


File:Griff Whalen.JPG

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.[25] On November 25 Whalen was signed to the practice squad by the Colts.[26] On January 15, 2015, Whalen was promoted to the active roster when Josh McNary was placed on the Commissioner's Exempt list.[27]


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.[28][29] 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.[30] 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.[31] On December 21, 2015, Whalen was placed on season-ending injured reserve.[32] On January 1, 2016, Whalen was waived by the Colts.[33]

Miami DolphinsEdit

On March 18, 2016, Whalen signed with the Miami Dolphins,[34] but was waived on September 4, 2016 during final roster cuts.[35]

San Diego ChargersEdit

On September 19, 2016, Whalen signed with the San Diego Chargers.[36] In his time with the Chargers, he recorded only two receptions for 22 yards in eight games.[37] He was released by the Chargers on November 22, 2016.[38]

New England PatriotsEdit

On December 9, 2016, Whalen was signed by the New England Patriots.[39] He was released by the Patriots on December 15, 2016.[40]

Baltimore RavensEdit

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.[41] On July 21, 2017, Whalen signed with the Baltimore Ravens.[42] On September 1, 2017, he was released by the Ravens during final roster cuts.[43] He was re-signed by the Ravens on October 19, 2017.[44] He made his Ravens debut in Week 7 with four receptions for 23 yards against the Minnesota Vikings.[45] In the next game, against the Miami Dolphins, he recorded a single punt return for two yards.[46] He was released on October 31, 2017.[47]

Oakland RaidersEdit

On March 12, 2018, Whalen signed with the Oakland Raiders.[48] He was placed on injured reserve on August 27, 2018, and was released with an injury settlement the next day.[49]

Calgary StampedersEdit

Whalen signed with the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL on May 14, 2019.[50] Despite catching three passes for 73 yards and a score during the preseason, and having a family connection to Calgary[51], Whalen was released.[52]

Career statisticsEdit

Regular seasonEdit

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 14 0 19 205 10.8 38 1 4 2
2016 San Diego Chargers 8 0 2 22 11.0 12 0
2017 Baltimore Ravens 2 0 4 23 5.8 9 0
Total 43 3 51 532 10.4 38 3 6 3


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

Personal lifeEdit

Whalen has been a vegan since 2013.[53][54]


  1. FitzGerald, Tom. "Griff Whalen is Stanford's leading receiver".
  2. Holder, Stephen. "Indianapolis Colts Q&A with Griff Whalen: On lacrosse, Stanford and Andrew Luck’s cleanliness" (in en).
  3. "Washington State at Stanford Box Score, November 1, 2008" (in en).
  4. "Griff Whalen 2008 Game Log" (in en).
  5. "Stanford at Washington State Box Score, September 5, 2009" (in en).
  6. "Griff Whalen 2009 Game Log" (in en).
  7. "Griff Whalen 2010 Game Log" (in en).
  8. "Stanford at UCLA Box Score, September 11, 2010" (in en).
  9. "Wake Forest at Stanford Box Score, September 18, 2010" (in en).
  10. "Stanford at Notre Dame Box Score, September 25, 2010" (in en).
  11. "Stanford at Oregon Box Score, October 2, 2010" (in en).
  12. "Griff Whalen 2011 Game Log" (in en).
  13. "Oregon at Stanford Box Score, November 12, 2011" (in en).
  14. "Fiesta Bowl – Stanford vs Oklahoma State Box Score, January 2, 2012" (in en).
  15. "Football: Whalen named finalist for walk-on award". November 30, 2011. Retrieved November 17, 2015.
  16. "2012 Indianapolis Colts Reportedly Sign Fourteen Undrafted Free Agents, Including Stanford WR Griff Whalen [UPDATE"].
  17. "2012 NFL Draft Listing" (in en).
  19. "Griff Whalen Ready for Role".
  20. 20.0 20.1 "Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts – December 15th, 2013" (in en).
  21. "Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts – December 29th, 2013" (in en).
  22. "Wild Card – Kansas City Chiefs at Indianapolis Colts – January 4th, 2014" (in en).
  23. "Divisional Round – Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots – January 11th, 2014" (in en).
  24. "Griff Whalen 2013 Game Log" (in en).
  25. Patra, Kevin (November 22, 2014). "Colts promote Zurlon Tipton, waive Griff Whalen". Retrieved November 22, 2014.
  26. Holder, Stephen (November 25, 2014). "Griff Whalen re-joins Colts, signs on to practice squad". Retrieved November 25, 2014.
  27. Smith, Michael David (January 15, 2015). "Colts bring back Griff Whalen to take Josh McNary’s spot". Retrieved January 15, 2015.
  28. "New England Patriots at Indianapolis Colts – October 18th, 2015" (in en).
  29. "Colts’ attempt at trick play goes horribly wrong – The Boston Globe".
  30. "Colts' Whalen struggles on special teams again". October 26, 2015.
  31. Wilson, Josh (November 10, 2015). "Griff Whalen making the most of his opportunities with Colts' offense". Retrieved November 12, 2015.
  32. "Indianapolis Colts make roster moves". December 21, 2015. Retrieved December 21, 2015.
  33. "Indianapolis Colts make roster move". January 1, 2016. Retrieved January 1, 2016.
  34. "PRESS RELEASE: Miami Dolphins Sign Whalen". March 18, 2016. Retrieved March 19, 2016.
  35. Poupart, Alain (September 4, 2016). "Dolphins Acquire Hunter; Make Other Roster Moves".
  36. "Chargers Sign WR Griff Whalen, Place Danny Woodhead on IR".
  37. "Griff Whalen 2016 Game Log" (in en).
  38. "Chargers Add Former Aztec RB Ronnie Hillman". November 22, 2016. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  39. "Patriots sign WR Griff Whalen". December 9, 2016.
  40. "Patriots claim WR Michael Floyd off waivers from Arizona; Release WR Griff Whalen". December 15, 2016.
  41. 59711a603584d.jpeg
  42. Downing, Garrett (July 21, 2017). "Ravens Sign Wide Receiver, Cornerback Before Training Camp Opens".
  43. Mink, Ryan (September 1, 2017). "Ravens Announce 24 Roster Moves, Have 13 More To Make". Archived from the original on January 18, 2018.
  44. Mink, Ryan (October 19, 2017). "Ravens Bring Back WR Griff Whalen, Waive OL Tony Bergstrom".
  45. "Baltimore Ravens at Minnesota Vikings – October 22nd, 2017" (in en).
  46. "Miami Dolphins at Baltimore Ravens – October 26th, 2017" (in en).
  47. Mink, Ryan (October 31, 2017). "Danny Woodhead Cleared to Practice; Ravens Promote Offensive Lineman".
  48. "Raiders Sign Wide Receiver Griff Whalen". March 12, 2018.
  49. "Raiders Announce Transactions – 8.27.2018". August 27, 2018.
  50. "Calgary Stampeders set for training camp with new look - Calgary Sun". May 14, 2019.
  51. "Stampeders welcome former NFLer to roster". June 6, 2019.
  52. "Julan Lynch, Michael Kashak among Calgary Stampeders’ end-of-camp cuts - Calgary Sun". June 9, 2019.
  53. "Vegan NFL Player Griff Whalen: The Plantpower Underdog On The Advantage of Self-Belief". July 17, 2016. Retrieved March 20, 2018.
  54. Mink, Ryan (August 29, 2017). "The Caw: Ravens WR Griff Whalen Is Vegan, and He May Be Converting Teammates". Retrieved March 20, 2018.

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