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Justin Durant
refer to caption
Durant with the Dallas Cowboys in 2017
Free agent
Position:Linebacker
Personal information
Born: (1985-09-21) September 21, 1985 (age 34)
Florence, South Carolina
Height:6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight:230 lb (104 kg)
Career information
High school:Florence (SC) Wilson
College:Hampton
NFL Draft:2007 / Round: 2 / Pick: 48
Career history
* Jacksonville Jaguars ( 2007 2010)
Career highlights and awards
* 3× First-team All-MEAC (2004-2006)
  • MEAC Defensive P.O.Y. (2004-2006)
Career NFL statistics
Total tackles:648
Sacks:4.5
Forced fumbles:5
Fumble recoveries:5
Interceptions:3
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Justin Ryan Durant (born September 21, 1985) is an American football linebacker who is currently a free agent. He was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second round of the 2007 NFL Draft and has also played for the Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons. He played college football at Hampton University.

Early yearsEdit

Durant graduated from Wilson High School in Florence, South Carolina in 2003. While there, he was a teammate to Miami Dolphins linebacker Lawrence Timmons. He was a member of the 2002 HSSR All-State team and was twice named to the Region VI Class AAA All-Region team.

College careerEdit

Durant played college football at Hampton University. While there he started 39 of 43 games at middle linebacker and finished ranked second in school history with 353 career tackles. He also contributed with 10 sacks, three fumble recoveries, and four interceptions. He also became the first player in the history of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference to earn MEAC Defensive Player of the Year honors three times.

Professional careerEdit

Jacksonville JaguarsEdit

Durant was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second round (48th overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft. In four seasons with the Jaguars, he recorded 272 tackles, two interceptions, and two sacks in 50 games with the team.[1]

Detroit LionsEdit

On July 29, 2011, Durant signed with the Detroit Lions. In two seasons, he recorded 171 tackles and 1.5 sacks in 29 games played.[2]

Dallas CowboysEdit

On March 27, 2013, Durant signed a two-year, $1.96 million contract with the Dallas Cowboys. The deal included a $400,000 signing bonus.[3] He was named the starter at strongside linebacker from the start of preseason, but experienced an injury-filled season. He first suffered a groin injury against the San Diego Chargers, that caused him to miss a game. On November 10 against the New Orleans Saints he injured his hamstring, which cost him three games. He returned to face the Green Bay Packers but reinjured the hamstring. He was placed on the injured reserve list on December 17, after playing in 10 games (six starts) and finishing with 24 tackles (two for loss), two quarterback pressures, a pass defensed and a forced fumble.[4]

In 2014, after Sean Lee was lost for the season, the plan was for Durant to replace him in the middle, until the Cowboys acquired Rolando McClain from the Baltimore Ravens. He was then moved to the weakside linebacker spot and his level of play earned him the defensive captain role.[5] He was having arguably the best season of his career and was the team's leading tackler, until suffering a torn bicep in Week 8. He also missed two games with a groin injury.[6] He finished with 59 tackles (four for loss), four passes defensed, two quarterback hurries, an interception, two forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery.

Atlanta FalconsEdit

On March 10, 2015, Durant was signed as a free agent by the Atlanta Falcons, with the intention of making him their starting strongside linebacker.[7][8] He had injury problems in preseason with his foot. In October, he suffered a sprained elbow that forced him to miss three games.[9] He finished with 82 tackles (second on the team) and three passes defensed. He was released by the team on February 8, 2016.[10]

Dallas Cowboys (second stint)Edit

Durant was considering retirement before being signed by the Dallas Cowboys to a one-year deal on July 18, 2016, to provide depth at linebacker for a suspended Rolando McClain and other injured players.[11] He played mostly on passing downs. He had a key pass deflection to help preserve a win in the fourth quarter of the second game of the season against the Washington Redskins. He left the eleventh game with a hamstring injury. He returned to play in the thirteenth game against the New York Giants. He suffered an elbow injury against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, that made the team decide to save him for the playoffs and declared him inactive for the last 2 games. He finished with 54 tackles.

On July 20, 2017, Durant re-signed with the Cowboys and was assigned to the non-football injury list, while recovering from elbow surgery.[12] On August 14, he was activated to participate in training camp. He wasn't as effective as in his previous seasons, playing in 7 games with 3 starts in place of an injured Sean Lee. In weeks 7, 8 and 9, he was declared inactive after being limited with a groin injury. In week 13, he was declared inactive with a concussion. In weeks 14 and 15, he was declared out with an elbow injury. On December 26, he was released to make room to activate linebacker Tre'Von Johnson.[13]

NFL statisticsEdit

Year Team GP COMB TOTAL AST SACK FF FR FR YDS INT IR YDS TD PD
2007 JAX 13 49 40 9 1.0 0 0 0 1 2 0 2
2008 JAX 14 70 62 8 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5
2009 JAX 13 98 81 17 1.0 1 0 0 1 27 0 2
2010 JAX 10 55 47 8 0.0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2
2011 DET 13 68 53 15 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
2012 DET 16 103 82 21 0.5 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
2013 DAL 10 24 14 10 0.0 1 1 5 0 0 0 1
2014 DAL 6 49 31 18 0.0 2 1 0 1 1 0 4
2015 ATL 13 82 57 25 0.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3
2016 DAL 13 37 24 13 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
Career 121 635 491 144 4.5 6 3 0 3 30 0 26
[14]

Key

  • GP: games played
  • COMB: combined tackles
  • TOTAL: total tackles
  • AST: assisted tackles
  • SACK: sacks
  • FF: forced fumbles
  • FR: fumble recoveries
  • FR YDS: fumble return yards
  • INT: interceptions
  • IR YDS: interception return yards
  • AVG IR: average interception return
  • LNG: longest interception return
  • TD: interceptions returned for touchdown
  • PD: passes defensed

Personal lifeEdit

Durant is the younger brother of retired CFL quarterback Darian Durant.

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Justin Durant". databaseFootball.com. Archived from the original on July 24, 2013. https://web.archive.org/web/20130724004208/http://www.databasefootball.com/players/playerlog.htm?ilkid=DuranJus01&yr=2009. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
  2. Detroit Lions sum up first official practice: 'Crisp' MLive.com July 29, 2011
  3. "Justin Durant Will Join Dallas Cowboys". Dallas Cowboys 101. http://www.dallascowboys101.com/2013/03/26/lb-justin-durant-will-sign-with-dallas-cowboys/. Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  4. Watkins, Calvins (December 17, 2013). "Cowboys place Justin Durant on IR". http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/cowboys/post/_/id/4721641/cowboys-place-justin-durant-on-ir. Retrieved March 5, 2016.
  5. Archer, Todd (October 21, 2014). "Justin Durant a big part of Cowboys' rising defense". http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/cowboys/post/_/id/4735841/justin-durant-a-big-part-of-rise-of-cowboys-d. Retrieved March 5, 2016.
  6. Watkins, Calvin (October 30, 2014). "Cowboys lose leading tackler". http://espn.go.com/dallas/nfl/story/_/id/11785070/dallas-cowboys-put-lb-justin-durant-torn-biceps-season-ending-ir. Retrieved March 5, 2016.
  7. Ledbetter, D. Orlando. "Falcons to sign linebackers Brooks Reed, Justin Durant; Morgan to visit". Atlanta Journal Constitution. http://atlantafalcons.blog.ajc.com/2015/03/10/report-falcons-expected-to-sign-linebackers-brooks-reed-justin-durant/. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  8. Adams, Jay (March 10, 2015). "Falcons Agree to Terms with Four Players". AtlantaFalcons.com. https://www.atlantafalcons.com/news/falcons-agree-to-terms-with-four-players-15019237. Retrieved March 11, 2015.
  9. Thomas, Jeanna (October 5, 2015). "Dan Quinn on yesterday's win and Justin Durant's injury". http://www.thefalcoholic.com/2015/10/5/9455945/dan-quinn-on-yesterdays-win-and-justin-durants-injury.
  10. McClure, Vaughn (February 8, 2016). "William Moore, Justin Durant released by Falcons". http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/14741679/atlanta-falcons-cut-safety-william-moore-linebacker-justin-durant. Retrieved March 5, 2016.
  11. Shook, Nick (July 18, 2016). "Justin Durant joins Dallas Cowboys on one-year deal". NFL.com. http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000675350/article/justin-durant-joins-cowboys-on-oneyear-deal?campaign=Twitter_atn. Retrieved July 18, 2016.
  12. Sessler, Marc (July 20, 2017). "Dallas Cowboys sign linebacker Justin Durant". http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000821002/article/dallas-cowboys-sign-linebacker-justin-durant.
  13. Phillips, Rob (December 26, 2017). "Cowboys Release Veteran LB Durant Entering Final Week Of The Season". http://www.dallascowboys.com/news/2017/12/26/cowboys-release-veteran-lb-durant-entering-final-week-season.
  14. "Justin Durant Sats". ESPN Internet Ventures. http://espn.go.com/nfl/player/stats/_/id/10492/justin-durant. Retrieved February 10, 2015.

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