PLAYER
Tahir Whitehead
LB #59
Height:
6-2
Weight:
241
Age:
26
College:
Temple
Hometown:
Newark, NJ
Experience:
5

Quick Stats (2016):

TCKL
101
SCK
0.0
FF
0
INT
--
Career Stats
SeasonTeamGamesTacklesInterceptionsFumbles
GGSTotalSoloAstSckSFTYPDefIntYdsAvgLngTDsFFFR
TOTAL 257 191 66 2.0 0 16 3 28 -- 26 0 2 1
2016 DET 11 11 101 74 27 0.0 -- 5 -- -- -- -- -- 0 --
2015 DET 16 8 50 39 11 2.0 -- 6 1 26 26 26 0 0 1
2014 DET 16 15 86 63 23 0.0 -- 5 2 2 1 2 0 0 --
2013 DET 16 0 9 7 2 0.0 -- 0 -- -- -- -- -- 1 --
2012 DET 14 0 11 8 3 0.0 -- 0 -- -- -- -- -- 1 --
Recent Games
WKOppResultTacklesInterceptionsFumbles
TotalSoloAstSckSFTYPDefIntYdsAvgLngTDsFFFR
1 @IND W 39-35 10 6 4 0.0 -- 2 -- -- -- -- -- 0 --
2 TEN L 15-16 10 7 3 0.0 -- 0 -- -- -- -- -- 0 --
3 @GB L 27-34 3 2 1 0.0 -- 0 -- -- -- -- -- 0 --
4 @CHI L 14-17 11 8 3 0.0 -- 0 -- -- -- -- -- 0 --
5 PHI W 24-23 12 10 2 0.0 -- 2 -- -- -- -- -- 0 --
6 LA W 31-28 9 7 2 0.0 -- 0 -- -- -- -- -- 0 --
7 WAS W 20-17 12 8 4 0.0 -- 1 -- -- -- -- -- 0 --
8 @HOU L 13-20 7 4 3 0.0 -- 0 -- -- -- -- -- 0 --
9 @MIN W 22-16 12 9 3 0.0 -- 0 -- -- -- -- -- 0 --
11 JAX W 26-19 3 2 1 0.0 -- 0 -- -- -- -- -- 0 --
12 MIN W 16-13 12 11 1 0.0 -- 0 -- -- -- -- -- 0 --

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Biography

Earned a contributing role on special teams for the 2012-13 seasons and after establishing himself as a leader on the Lions coverage units, proved himself in 2014 as one of the team’s starting linebackers. Returns to the Lions defense in 2016 alongside LB DeAndre Levy and LB Josh Bynes.

MANE FACTS

  • Pronunciation: TAH-here
  • Voted by his teammates for the Yale Lary Special Teams MVP in 2013.

TRANSACTIONS

  • Re-signed by the Lions as an unrestricted free agent on March 11, 2016.
  • Drafted by the Detroit Lions in the fifth round (138th overall) of the 2012 NFL Draft.

PRO
Earned a contributing role on special teams for the 2012-13 seasons and after establishing himself as a leader on the Lions coverage units, proved himself in 2014 as one of the team’s starting linebackers. Returns to the Lions defense in 2016 alongside LB DeAndre Levy and LB Josh Bynes.

2015: Appeared in all 16 games for the third-consecutive season (nine starts), and finished with 47 tackles (36 solo), a career-high two sacks, one interception, six pass defenses and one fumble recovery.

  • Recorded one tackle in Week 1 at San Diego (9/13).
  • Had his first start of the season at outside linebacker at Minnesota (9/20) in Week 2 and collected two tackles (one assisted).
  • Saw action at LB in Week 3 vs. Denver (9/27) and assisted on two tackles.
  • Saw action at LB in Week 5 vs. Arizona (10/11).
  • Finished with a tackle and one pass defense in Week 6 vs. Chicago (10/18) and supported a strong defense that allowed no third-down conversions during the overtime quarter that ultimately set up the game winning drive.
  • In Week 7 vs. Minnesota (10/25) collected two tackles along with one tackle for loss and one quarterback hit.
  • Collected one tackle in Week 8 at Kansas City (11/1) at Wembley Stadium.
  • Started at LB in Week 10 vs. Green Bay (11/15). Tied for first on the team with eight total tackles (seven solo). Posted his first career sack when he dragged down QB Aaron Rodgers for a seven-yard loss. His tackles (7 solo) marked the third time in his career he has accumulated 8+ tackles in a game. Overall, he was credited with eight tackles, one sack (seven-yard loss), one tackle for loss and one pass defense.
  • Netted two solo tackles in Week 11 vs. Oakland (11/22).
  • In Week 12 vs. Philadelphia (11/26) led the team with six tackles (four solo) for the first time this season. Also posted two pass defenses and one tackle for loss.
  • Started at linebacker in Week 13 vs. Green Bay (12/3). Notched three solo tackles and two tackles for loss.
  • Started at linebacker in Week 14 at St. Louis (12/13) and posted one tackle.
  • Started at linebacker in Week 15 at New Orleans (12/21). Recorded seven tackles (four solo) and one pass defense.
  • In Week 16 vs. San Francisco (12/27), started at linebacker and recorded four solo tackles. Whitehead snatched his first career fumble recovery, which set up the Lions’ second touchdown of the day off of a one-yard rush from RB Joique Bell.
  • In Week 17 at Chicago (1/3), snatched his first interception of the season (third of his career) with: 23 left to play in the first half. He intercepted the pass at Detroit’s 36-yard line that not only stopped a potential Bears scoring drive, but also set up the Lions’ 59-yard field goal that went through the uprights as time expired to give the Lions a 10-0 at the half. Whitehead also contributed six tackles (four solo) and had two TFLs.

2014: After not recording a single tackle outside of special teams in his first two seasons, Whitehead thrived at the middle linebacker position for injured LB Stephen Tulloch and emerged onto the scene in 2014 to finish the season second on the team in tackles with 77 (55 solo). Also recorded his first-two-career interceptions and had five pass defenses.

  • Began 2014 season as starting outside linebacker and recorded a tackle on special teams in Week 1 vs. New York Giants (9/8).
  • Recorded three tackles in Week 2 at Carolina (9/14).
  • Posted three tackles in Week 3 vs. Green Bay (9/21).
  • Registered a team-tying high 11 tackles (also career-high) in his first start at middle linebacker in Week 4 at New York Jets (9/28).
  • Recorded six tackles, including one for loss, in Week 5 vs. Buffalo (10/5).
  • Registered a career-high two interceptions, along with six tackles and one TFL in Week 6 at Minnesota (10/12).
  • Posted five tackles and defended one pass in Week 7 vs. New Orleans (10/19).
  • Recorded five tackles, including one for loss, in Week 8 at Atlanta (10/26).
  • Registered three tackles in Week 10 vs. Miami (11/9).
  • Posted three tackles and defended one pass in Week 11 at Arizona (11/16).
  • Registered five tackles in Week 12 at New England (11/23).
  • Posted seven tackles in Week 13 vs. Chicago (11/27).
  • Registered three tackles and one quarterback hit in Week 14 vs. Tampa Bay (12/7).
  • Had nine tackles (one for loss) in Week 15 vs. Minnesota (12/14).
  • Posted three tackles in Week 16 at Chicago (12/21).
  • Finished with four tackles and defended one pass in Week 17 at Green Bay (12/28).
  • In the NFC Wild Card game at Dallas (1/4), posted six tackles (one for loss), one sack, and one quarterback hit.

2013: Contributed on special teams in all 16 games and ended the year tied for third in special teams tackles with nine (seven solo) and had one forced fumble. Voted by his teammates for the Yale Lary Special Teams MVP in 2013.

  • Saw action on special teams and recorded one assisted special teams tackle in Week 1 vs. Minnesota (9/8).
  • Saw action on special teams in Week 2 at Arizona (9/15) and Week 3 at Washington (9/22).
  • Posted two special teams tackles and forced a fumble on kickoff coverage in Week 4 vs. Chicago (9/29).
  • Assisted on one special teams tackles in Week 5 at Green Bay (10/6).
  • Registered one special teams tackle in Week 8 vs. Dallas (10/27).
  • Had one special teams tackle in Week 12 vs. Tampa Bay (11/24).
  • Posted one special teams tackle in Week 13 vs. Green Bay (11/28).
  • Had one special teams tackle in Week 14 at Philadelphia (12/8).
  • Posted one special teams tackle in in Week 17 at Minnesota (12/29).

2012: Saw action primarily on special teams, finishing tied for third on the team in special teams tackles with 10 (seven solo) and had one forced fumble.

  • Inactive in season opener vs. St. Louis (9/9).
  • Saw action on special teams (first career game) in Week 2 against San Francisco (9/16), recording one special teams tackle and forcing a fumble that led to a Lions field goal in the first quarter in the game.
  • Assisted on a special teams tackle in Week 3 at Tennessee (9/23).
  • Inactive at Philadelphia (10/14)
  • Had one special teams tackle in the Lions’ 28-24 win over Seattle in Week 8 (10/28).
  • Had one special teams tackle in Week 10 at Minnesota (11/11).
  • Had two special teams tackle in Week 12 vs. Houston on Thanksgiving Day (11/22), making it his third straight game with a special teams tackle.
  • Had one special teams tackle in Week 14 at Green Bay (12/9).
  • Registered one special teams tackle in Week 17 vs. Chicago (12/30).

COLLEGE
Named to the 2011 Butkus Award Watch List. Received the 2011 Mark Bresani Award for spirit and enthusiasm.

2011: Started 12 of 13 games as a senior.

  • Second Team All-MAC
  • First Team All-MAC by Phil Steele.
  • Named Defensive Most Valuable Player of the 2011 Gildan New Mexico Bowl.
  • Led the Owls defense with four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. Tied for the team lead with 13.5 tackles for a loss. Second on team with five sacks and third in total tackles.

2010: Played in all 12 games as a junior, starting eight at outside linebacker.

  • Was named the most improved player following spring practices.
  • Ranked sixth on the Owls defense with 56 tackles, including seven and a half for a loss.
  • Had five tackles, three and a half for a loss, and one sack vs. Connecticut and received Honorable Mention National Linebacker of the Week honors.

2009: Came off the bench to play in all 13 games.

  • Recorded one tackle and a quarterback hurry in the EagleBank Bowl against UCLA.

2008: Played as a reserve in all 12 games as a freshman playing primarily on special teams.

PERSONAL
Was a team captain for West Side High School in Newark, N.J. for coach Brian Logan. Won 2007 state championship playing as a safety, wide receiver, tight end and running back. Was named to the 2008 All-Academic Team as a senior and sophomore.

  • Two-time All-Ydsline Conference honoree. Named All-County as a sophomore.
  • Has three siblings.
  • Criminal Justice major.

WHITEHEAD’S SINGLE-GAME BESTS

  • Tackles: 11 at NYJ 9/28/14
  • Forced Fumbles: 1 (twice) Last vs. Chi 9/29/13
  • Fumble Recoveries: 1 vs. SF 12/27/15
  • Special Teams Tackles: 2 (five times) Last at KC 11/1/15
  • Sacks: 1 at GB 11/15/15
  • Interceptions: 2 at Min 10/12/14
  • Pass Defenses: 2 (twice) Last vs. Phi 11/26/15

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