Lucky Whitehead’s speed helped earn him a spot in the NFL. Now it's done the same with the CFL.
The Osbourn High School graduate made the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ regular-season roster after showcasing his blazing fast feet during the preseason. Rosters were finalized following Saturday's cuts.
In Winnipeg’s final preseason game Thursday, Whitehead totaled 106 yards, 86 of which came off a touchdown pass from quarterback Matt Nichols in the second quarter.
The pass went for 11 yards and then Whitehead ran the final 75 in the eventual 35-29 win over Saskatchewan.
Besides being used as a wide receiver, Whitehead will see time as a return specialist.
CFL teams needed to finalize their rosters by Saturday.
Winnipeg announced Whitehead’s signing May 9 following his performance at a free-agent mini-camp April 24-25 at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
Whitehead has not been with a team since he began the 2018 preseason with the New York Jets. The Jets placed Whitehead on injured reserve Aug. 28 and no other NFL organization signed him that season.
Whitehead began his NFL career with Dallas, who signed him as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2015 out of Florida Atlantic. In two seasons with the Cowboys, Whitehead was used primarily as a return specialist but also was a reserve wide receiver. Whitehead averaged 25.6 yards per kick return and 6.9 per punt.
The Cowboys released Whitehead the same day news surfaced that he had been arrested for shoplifting June 22, 2017, in Woodbridge and then failed to appear in court July 6. On July 25, Prince William County police department released a statement clearing Whitehead of any wrongdoing, calling it a case of mistaken identity.
Whitehead entered the 2017 preseason as the front-runner to become the Jets’ primary return specialist after they claimed him off waivers from Dallas in late July.
But Whitehead’s plans ended after he broke his foot during training camp. He was waived/injured in September before being placed on injured reserve. He then was waived with an injury settlement.
The Jets re-signed Whitehead to the practice squad that November and then added him to its 53-man roster Dec. 30 for its final regular-season game, but he did not play.