T. J. Yeldon
200px
Yeldon in October 2011
No. 22     
Running back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1993-10-02) October 2, 1993 (age 27)[1]
Place of birth: Daphne, Alabama
Career information
College: Alabama
NFL Draft: 2015 / Round: 2 / Pick: 36
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
* Jacksonville Jaguars ( 2015 2018)
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
* Second-team All-SEC (2014)
Career NFL statistics as of 2018
Rushing attempts     465
Rushing yards     1,872
Rushing touchdowns     6
Receptions     171
Receiving yards     1,302
Receiving touchdowns     6

Timothy Antonio "T. J." Yeldon Jr.[2] (born October 2, 1993) is an American football running back for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft. He played college football at Alabama.

Early years[edit | edit source]

Yeldon attended Daphne High School in Daphne, Alabama, where he played football and ran track for the Trojans athletic teams.[3] Yeldon first played varsity football as a freshman in 2008, being called up to play slot receiver and contribute on special teams,[2] and recorded 227 rushing yards and one touchdown as well as 131 receiving yards and a score on the season. As a sophomore, Yeldon had 1,121 yards on 201 carries with 34 catches for 361 yards and one touchdown. He rushed for 148 yards on 24 carries and scored twice in a 41–19 upset of C. J. Mosley's Theodore Bobcats in the first round of the playoffs.[4]

In his junior season, Yeldon totaled 1,112 yards and 18 scores on the ground while also catching a career-best 34 passes for 504 yards and five touchdowns. Daphne finished the year with an unbeaten 15–0 record and the 2010 Alabama 6A State Championship, beating the defending champions Hoover Buccaneers, who were on a 21-game winning streak, in the final. Yeldon scored the winning touchdown off a one-yard run with 11 minutes of play remaining.[5][6]

In his senior season, Yeldon rushed for 2,193 yards on 232 carries with 31 touchdowns and won the Alabama Mr. Football Award over Hueytown's Jameis Winston,[7] becoming the first running back to win the award since Cadillac Williams in 2000.[8] Yeldon was also named a first-team All-State selection by the Alabama Sports Writers Association and second-team USA Today High School All-American. Daphne finished with a 10–2 record, finishing the season with a 3–13 loss to Prattville in the 6A playoffs.[9]

Yeldon was also on the school's track team, where he competed as a sprinter and jumper. At the prelims of the 2010 Lionell Newell Track Meet, he ran a career-best time of 11.35 seconds in the 100 meters, placing 12th overall in the finals.[10] He also placed 6th in the long jump at the 2010 McGill-Toolen Invitational, with a personal-best mark of 6.08 meters.[11]

Regarded as a five-star recruit by Rivals.com, Yeldon was listed as the No. 2 running back prospect in his class, behind only Johnathan Gray.[12] Understandably, he had scholarship offers from almost every football powerhouse, including Florida, Oregon, Penn State, and Tennessee. In June 2011, Yeldon verbally committed to Auburn.[13] However, after the end of his senior season, he switched to Auburn's in-state rival Alabama, citing uncertainty over the Tigers' offensive coordinator position following Gus Malzahn's move to Arkansas State.[14] Yeldon enrolled at Alabama in January 2012,[8] right after the 2012 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

College career[edit | edit source]

As a true freshman in 2012, Yeldon played in all 14 games, sharing time with Eddie Lacy.[15][16][17] In his first college game, Yeldon rushed for 111 yards and a touchdown.[18] His season high for the year was 153 yards against Georgia in the 2012 SEC Championship Game.[19] In the 2013 BCS Championship Game victory over Notre Dame, Yeldon ran for 110 yards and had one touchdown.[20] Yeldon finished the season with 1,108 rushing yards on 175 carries and 12 touchdowns.[21] The 1,108 rushing yards were an Alabama freshman record and his 12 touchdowns tied Mark Ingram Jr.'s freshman touchdown record.[22]

After Lacy entered the 2013 NFL Draft, Yeldon became Alabama's starter his sophomore season in 2013. He started 11 of 12 games, missing one game due to injury. Yeldon led the team with 1,235 yards on 207 carries and 14 touchdowns.[23] He was named first-team All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) selection.[24] Yeldon shared carries with Derrick Henry his junior season in 2014.[25] He played in 13 games, rushing for 979 yards on 194 carries with 11 touchdowns.[26]

After his junior season, Yeldon decided to forego his senior season and entered the 2015 NFL Draft.[27][28]

Collegiate statistics[edit | edit source]

T. J. Yeldon Rushing Receiving
Year Team Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds TD
2012 Alabama 175 1,108 6.3 43 12 11 131 1
2013 Alabama 207 1,235 6.0 68 14 20 183 0
2014 Alabama 194 979 5.0 31 11 15 180 1
Career 576 3,322 5.8 68 37 46 494 2

Professional career[edit | edit source]

Pre-draft measureables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP Wonderlic
6 ft 1¼ in 226 lb 4.52 s 1.57 s 2.56 s 4.22 s 7.19 s 36 in 9 ft 9 in 22 rep

Jacksonville Jaguars[edit | edit source]

Yeldon was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second round (36th overall) in the 2015 NFL Draft.[30] He was the third running back to be selected that year.[31]

On May 27, 2015, Yeldon signed a four-year, $5.91 million contract, with a $2.56 million signing bonus, and $3.26 million guaranteed.[32]

2015 season[edit | edit source]

Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley named Yeldon the starting running back for the beginning of the season, ahead of veterans Denard Robinson, Toby Gerhart, and Bernard Pierce.[33] On September 13, 2015, he made his NFL debut and carried the ball 15 times for 51 yards, while also catching three passes for 16-yards, in a 20–9 loss to the Carolina Panthers.[34] The next game against the Miami Dolphins, Yeldon had a season-high 25 carries for 70 yards in a 23–20 victory.[35] On October 11, 2015, he had 11 rushing attempts, 32 rushing yards, five receptions, 31 receiving yards, and scored his first career touchdown reception in a 31–38 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.[36]

After five consecutive starts to begin his rookie campaign, Yeldon missed the Week 6 matchup against the Houston Texans due to a groin injury. He returned as the starter on October 25, rushing for season-high 115 yards on 15 carries and scored his first career rushing touchdown in a 34–31 victory over the Buffalo Bills.[37] During a Week 14 contest against the Indianapolis Colts, he had 11 carries for 62 yards but left the game with an MCL sprain that would keep him out the following week.[38][39]

2016 season[edit | edit source]

Yeldon remained part of the Jaguars' backfield in the 2016 season.[40] In the season opener against the Green Bay Packers, he had 21 carries for 39 yards and a touchdown in the 27–23 loss.[41] Overall, on the season, he had 465 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown, 50 receptions, 312 receiving yards, and one receiving touchdown.[42] He was placed on injured reserve on December 26, 2016.[43]

2017 season[edit | edit source]

After being a healthy scratch for the first six weeks of the 2017 season, on October 22, during Week 7 against the Indianapolis Colts, because of an injury to Leonard Fournette, Yeldon rushed for 122 yards, which highlighted a 58-yard touchdown, as the Jaguars shut out the Colts 27–0.[44] Overall, he finished the regular season with 253 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns, and 30 receptions for 224 receiving yards.[45] The Jacksonville Jaguars won the AFC South and made the playoffs.[46] In the Divisional Round against the Pittsburgh Steelers, he had 20 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown to go along with 57 receiving yards in the 45–42 victory.[47] In the AFC Championship against the New England Patriots, he had 25 rushing yards in the 24–20 loss.[48]

2018 season[edit | edit source]

Yeldon started the 2018 season with 51 rushing yards and three receptions for 18 yards and a receiving touchdown in the 20–15 victory over the New York Giants.[49] With Leonard Fournette dealing with an injury, Yeldon had an extended role in the early season. In Week 4 against the New York Jets, he recorded 52 rushing yards, a rushing touchdown, 48 receiving yards, and a receiving touchdown in the 31–12 victory.[50] In the following game, a loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, he recorded 122 scrimmage yards and a receiving touchdown.[51] In Week 17, Yeldon was active but did not see any action. He and an inactive Fournette showed enough disinterest on the sideline that Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin issued a statement calling the duo’s behavior “disrespectful, selfish … unbecoming that of a professional football player.”[52] He finished the 2018 season with 414 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown.[53]

Buffalo Bills[edit | edit source]

On April 22, 2019, Yeldon signed a two-year contract with the Buffalo Bills.[54]

NFL statistics[edit | edit source]

Season Team Games Rushing Receiving Fumbles
GP GS Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Avg Lng TD FUM Lost
2015 JAX 12 12 182 740 4.1 45 2 36 279 7.8 67 1 0 0
2016 JAX 15 13 130 465 3.6 16 1 50 312 6.2 17 1 2 1
2017 JAX 10 0 49 253 5.2 58T 2 30 224 7.5 20 0 2 1
2018 JAX 12 4 100 401 4.0 20 1 53 472 8.9 37 4 1 1
Career 46 29 445 1,804 4.1 58 6 158 1,212 7.7 67 6 5 3

Personal life[edit | edit source]

Yeldon is a distant cousin of former West Virginia quarterback Pat White.[8]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "T.J. Yeldon, Bio, Photos, News and More - SI.com". https://www.si.com/college-football/player/tj-yeldon.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "In-Depth Look At Tide’s T.J. Yeldon". Scout.com. January 7, 2013. http://alabama.scout.com/2/1255517.html.
  3. Inabinett, Mark. "Daphne High School adds another player to its NFL roster" (in en-US). AL.com. http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2017/09/daphne_high_school_adds_anothe.html.
  4. Ladnier, Robert (November 7, 2009). "Daphne defeats Theodore in 6A playoff game". AL.com. http://highschoolsports.al.com/news/article/3448103161564288958/daphne-defeats-theodore-in-6a-playoff-game/.
  5. Morand, Rachel (December 3, 2010). "Daphne upsets Hoover 7–6 in 6A title game". Rivals. https://footballrecruiting.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1161034.
  6. GSN Classic Daphne vs Hoover 2010 on YouTube
  7. Lin, Dennis. "T.J. Yeldon edges Jameis Winston for Mr. Football". http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2012/01/tj_yeldon_edges_jameis_winston.html.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Anderson, Lars (August 8, 2013). "Alabama's T.J. Yeldon growing into role in the spotlight". Sports Illustrated. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/college-football/news/20130808/tj-yeldon-alabama/.
  9. Herndon, Mike (November 12, 2011). "Prattville ends Daphne's season with 13–3 win". AL.com. http://highschoolsports.al.com/news/article/-803709057411334756/prattville-ends-daphnes-season-with-13-3-win/.
  10. "Lionell Newell Throws and Fast Times – Fast Times Results (Raw)". http://al.milesplit.com/meets/66058/results/115593.
  11. "2010 McGill-Toolen Catholic Invitational – McT Invitational (Raw)". http://al.milesplit.com/meets/64973/results/114745.
  12. "TJ Yeldon". https://sports.yahoo.com/ncaa/football/recruiting/rankings/rank-2886/0.
  13. "Daphne Star T.J. Yeldon Verbally Commits To Auburn". Dothan First. June 15, 2011. Archived from the original on May 15, 2014. https://web.archive.org/web/20140515150818/http://www.dothanfirst.com/story/daphne-star-tj-yeldon-verbally-commits-to-auburn/d/story/6EzVVpmZMUWhs3iq9XfStA.
  14. "RB recruit TJ Yeldon drops Auburn, picks Alabama". December 18, 2011. http://www.sportingnews.com/ncaa-football/story/2011-12-18/rb-recruit-tj-yeldon-drops-auburn-picks-alabama.
  15. Kausler Jr., Don. "Tide's Eddie Lacy talks about his running mate, freshman T.J. Yeldon". http://www.al.com/alabamafootball/index.ssf/2012/11/tides_eddie_lacy_talks_about_h.html.
  16. Scarborough, Alex. "Tide deep at running back with Lacy, Yeldon". http://espn.go.com/colleges/alabama/football/story/_/id/8604130/alabama-crimson-tide-tj-yeldon-eddie-lacy-humming.
  17. Aschoff, Edward. "Alabama's RB duo surges to South Beach". http://espn.go.com/blog/sec/post/_/id/58332/alabamas-rb-duo-surges-to-south-beach.
  18. Scarborough, Alex. "Freshman RB Yeldon has breakout day". http://espn.go.com/blog/colleges/alabama/post/_/id/5751/freshman-rb-yeldon-has-breakout-day.
  19. Kausler Jr., Don. "Finally ... a few words from T.J. Yeldon, Alabama's star freshman RB". http://www.al.com/alabamafootball/index.ssf/2013/01/finally_a_few_words_from_tj_ye.html.
  20. "BCS Championship – Notre Dame vs Alabama Box Score, January 7, 2013" (in en). https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/boxscores/2013-01-07-alabama.html.
  21. "T.J. Yeldon 2012 Game Log" (in en). https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/tj-yeldon-1/gamelog/2012/.
  22. Gribble, Andrew. "Eddie George: Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon has 'all the ability'". http://www.al.com/alabamafootball/index.ssf/2013/08/eddie_george_tj_yeldon.html.
  23. "T.J. Yeldon 2013 Game Log" (in en). https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/tj-yeldon-1/gamelog/2013/.
  24. "2013 All-SEC Football Team Announced". December 10, 2013. http://www.secdigitalnetwork.com/NEWS/tabid/473/Article/248317/2013-all-sec-football-team-announced.aspx.
  25. Gribble, Andrew. "Alabama football's VIP 25: Tide's dynamic duo at RB could be best in nation". http://www.al.com/alabamafootball/index.ssf/2014/07/alabama_footballs_vip_25_tides_1.html.
  26. "T.J. Yeldon 2014 Game Log" (in en). https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/tj-yeldon-1/gamelog/2014/.
  27. Champlin, Drew. "After getting favorable grade, Alabama RB T.J. Yeldon ready for NFL challenge". http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2015/01/after_getting_favorable_grade.html.
  28. Scarborough, Alex. "Alabama's star trio plans to enter NFL draft". http://espn.go.com/blog/sec/post/_/id/96709/alabamas-star-trio-plans-to-enter-nfl-draft.
  29. "*T.J. Yeldon – Alabama, RB : 2015 NFL Draft Scout Player Profile". http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/dsprofile.php?pyid=125939&draftyear=2015&genpos=RB.
  30. "2015 NFL Draft Listing" (in en). https://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/2015/draft.htm.
  31. "2015 NFL Draft Listing" (in en). https://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/2015/draft.htm.
  32. "Jacksonville Jaguars/TJ Yeldon contract". http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/jacksonville-jaguars/t.j.-yeldon/.
  33. "Jacksonville Jaguars 2015 depth chart". http://m.jaguars.com/team/depth-chart.html.
  34. "Carolina Panthers at Jacksonville Jaguars – September 13th, 2015" (in en). https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/201509130jax.htm.
  35. "Miami Dolphins at Jacksonville Jaguars – September 20th, 2015" (in en). https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/201509200jax.htm.
  36. "Jacksonville Jaguars at Tampa Bay Buccaneers – October 11th, 2015" (in en). https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/201510110tam.htm.
  37. "Buffalo Bills at Jacksonville Jaguars – October 25th, 2015" (in en). https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/201510250jax.htm.
  38. "Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars – December 13th, 2015" (in en). https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/201512130jax.htm.
  39. NFL.com. "NFL Player Profile:TJ Yeldon". http://www.nfl.com/player/t.j.yeldon/2552471/profile. Retrieved December 21, 2015.
  40. "2016 Jacksonville Jaguars Statistics & Players" (in en). https://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/jax/2016.htm.
  41. "Green Bay Packers at Jacksonville Jaguars – September 11th, 2016" (in en). https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/201609110jax.htm.
  42. "T.J. Yeldon 2016 Game Log" (in en). https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/Y/YeldT.00/gamelog/2016/.
  43. Bouda, Nate (December 26, 2016). "Jaguars Place RB T.J. Yeldon On I.R. & Claim RB Daryl Richardson Off Waivers". http://nfltraderumors.co/jaguars-place-rb-t-j-yeldon-r-claim-rb-daryl-richardson-off-waivers/.
  44. "Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts – October 22nd, 2017" (in en). https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/201710220clt.htm.
  45. "T.J. Yeldon 2017 Game Log" (in en). https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/Y/YeldT.00/gamelog/2017/.
  46. "2017 NFL Standings & Team Stats" (in en). https://www.pro-football-reference.com/years/2017.
  47. "Divisional Round – Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers – January 14th, 2018" (in en). https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/201801140pit.htm.
  48. "AFC Championship – Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots – January 21st, 2018" (in en). https://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/201801210nwe.htm.
  49. Johnson, Jay (September 9, 2018). "WATCH: RB T.J. Yeldon scores the Jags' first touchdown of the regular season" (in en-US). USA Today. https://jaguarswire.usatoday.com/2018/09/09/watch-rb-t-j-yeldon-scores-the-jags-first-touchdown-of-the-regular-season/.
  50. "Blake Bortles, Jaguars handle Jets" (in en). UPI. https://www.upi.com/Blake-Bortles-Jaguars-handle-Jets/5321538355325/.
  51. Potter, Charlie. "Tide in the NFL: Tracking Alabama players in Week 5 action" (in en-US). BamaOnLine. https://247sports.com/college/alabama/Article/Tide-in-the-NFL-Tracking-Alabama-Football-players-in-Week-5-action-Mark-Ingram-123100477/.
  52. "Coughlin: Leonard Fournette, T.J. Yeldon were 'selfish'" (in en). http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000001005741/article/coughlin-leonard-fournette-tj-yeldon-were-selfish.
  53. "T.J. Yeldon 2018 Game Log" (in en). https://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/Y/YeldT.00.htm.
  54. Brown, Chris (April 22, 2019). "Bills add depth at RB signing free agent T.J. Yeldon". https://www.buffalobills.com/news/bills-add-depth-at-rb-signing-free-agent-t-j-yeldon.

External links[edit | edit source]

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