Morris in February 2009
|No. -- Free Agent|
|Date of birth:March 23, 1977|
|Place of birth: Oxford, England|
|Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)||Weight: 220 lb (100 kg)|
|College: Texas Tech|
|NFL Draft: 2000 / Round: 5 / Pick: 156|
|Debuted in 2000 for the Buffalo Bills|
|Roster status: Active|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of Week 15, 2011|
|Stats at NFL.com|
Samuel "Sammy" Morris III (born March 23, 1977 in Oxford, England) is an American football running back who is a free agent in the National Football League. He was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the fifth round of the 2000 NFL Draft. He played college football at Texas Tech.
Morris attended John Jay High School in San Antonio, Texas, where he played both quarterback and running back. He was named San Antonio Offensive Player of the Year and was a district MVP in his senior season.
After graduating from high school, Morris attended Texas Tech University, redshirting his freshman season in 1995. In 1996, he rushed for 226 yards in eight games. He did not play again until his senior season in 1999, sitting out his junior year due to NCAA eligibility rules. He was a team captain his senior season, finishing with 562 rushing yards in nine games.
Morris was drafted in the fifth-round (156th overall) by the Buffalo Bills in the 2000 NFL Draft. During his stint with the Bills, Morris was a backup to starters Antowain Smith and Travis Henry. He played in 12 games in his rookie season in 2000, recording 11 special teams tackles while finishing fourth in the team in rushing and third in receiving. In 2001, Morris played in 16 games, starting one, and led the Bills' special teams as a captain with 31 tackles. Morris was inactive for seven games in 2003, but returned six kickoffs during the season and picked up nine special teams tackles.
Morris signed a free agent contract with the Miami Dolphins on March 12, 2004, and though he was expected to be a fullback he ended up being the team's leading rusher following the abrupt retirement of Ricky Williams. He started eight of the 13 games he played in, finishing with 523 rushing yards and six touchdowns. He backed up rookie running back Ronnie Brown in 2005 and led the Dolphins with 16 special teams tackles. Morris was suspended for the first four games of the 2006 regular season after violating the league's substance abuse policy, stemming from him taking a banned substance, pseudoephedrine, in the over-the-counter medicine Sudafed. Upon his return, Morris rushed for 400 yards and was tied for third on the team with eight special teams tackles.
New England Patriots
On March 3, 2007 the New England Patriots signed Morris to a four-year contract. He started two of the first six games of the season, averaging 4.5 yards a carry. On October 14, 2007 Morris suffered a chest injury while playing against the Dallas Cowboys. On November 2, 2007, after missing two games, Morris was placed on injured reserve with a chest injury, ending his season.
After starting running back Laurence Maroney was placed on injured reserve in October 2008 due to a shoulder injury Morris received considerably more playing time than in previous years. Morris played in 13 games in 2008, averaging 55.9 yards per game, which totaled 727 yards for the season. His previous high in rushing yards in a season was 523 in 2004. Morris also set his own personal record with touchdowns in a season with seven.
Morris started three of the first six games for the Patriots in 2009 before suffering a knee injury on his first touch of a Week 6 game against Tennessee Titans. He returned in Week 12 but would not start until the final two games of the season, finishing with 319 yards on 73 attempts and two touchdowns.
In 2010, Morris saw a significantly reduced workload behind new starter BenJarvus Green-Ellis. He finished the season playing in 16 games, all as a reserve, and carrying 20 times for 56 yards as well as making 7 catches for 77 yards. During an AFC Divisional playoff game against the New York Jets, Morris took a direct snap and ran for a two-point conversion at the end of the third quarter to pull the Patriots within three points of the Jets.
During the 2011 season, he was released by the Patriots.
- "Reports: Dolphins RB Morris suspended four games". Associated Press. ESPN.com. 2006-09-01. http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=2568282. Retrieved 2009-08-10.
- Lee, Robert (2007-11-03). "Chest injury shelves Morris for season". The Providence Journal. http://www.projo.com/patriots/content/sp_fbn_patsjo03_11-03-07_867NPBB_v7.3070231.html. Retrieved 2009-08-10.
- "Cowboys sign veteran RB Sammy Morris after Murray's injury". http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/story/16439457/cowboys-sign-veteran-rb-sammy-morris-after-murrays-injury.