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Tahir Whitehead | Linebacker | #59

Team: Detroit Lions
Age / DOB:  (27) / 4/2/1990
Ht / Wt:  6'2' / 241
College: Temple
Drafted: 2012 / Rd. 5 (138) / DET
Contract: view contract details
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Latest News

Recent News

Lions LB Tahir Whitehead is expected to play on the weak side this season.
Paul Worrilow manned the weak side with Whitehead absent from OTAs last week. Whitehead spent last year in the middle, but he finished 59th among 59 qualifiers in PFF's inside linebacker ratings and has been replaced by first-round pick Jarrad Davis. Whitehead's primary competition on the outside will likely come from Worrilow, Brandon Copeland and Antwione Williams. May 28 - 9:45 AM
Source: ESPN.com

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Player News

Date:

Lions LB Tahir Whitehead is expected to play on the outside this season.

Whitehead served as the Lions' middle linebacker last season, but first-round pick Jarrad Davis is expected to push him back outside, where Whitehead has had more success in his career. Whitehead is entering the final year of his contract, and the Detroit Free Press' Dave Birkett believes he is "playing for a new deal elsewhere next year."
May 4 - 10:07 AM

Lions MLB Tahir Whitehead (knee) has been downgraded to out for Week 13.

Whitehead will miss his first game of the season after practicing on a limited basis all week. Josh Bynes is expected to replace him in the starting lineup.
Sat, Dec 3, 2016 05:02:00 PM

DetroitLions.com's Tim Twentyman thinks Tahir Whitehead could surpass 100 tackles this season.

The strong favorite for the starting middle linebacker job following the departure of Stephen Tulloch, Whitehead is in a great position to rack up counting stats. A three-down linebacker, he notched 91 tackles in 2014 while filling in for an injured Tulloch for 13 games. He is a solid sleeper in IDP formats.
Fri, Jun 24, 2016 09:26:00 AM

The Lions informed Tahir Whitehead that he'll compete for the team's starting middle linebacker job.

They gave him the assurance of getting a chance to replace Stephen Tulloch when Whitehead was re-signed for $8 million over two years. Whitehead did a bang-up job at middle linebacker when Tulloch missed time in 2014, and could be an IDP asset this season if he's able to win the every-down position.
Sun, Mar 13, 2016 07:21:00 PM

Lions re-signed LB Tahir Whitehead to a two-year contract worth more than $8 million.

Although Whitehead lost his starting job to begin last season in Detroit, he retook the position beginning in Week 10 and excelled as a run defender in the Lions' final eight games. He also chipped in five special teams tackles. Whitehead turns 26 in April. Still ascending, he's a savvy re-signing by the Lions.
Thu, Mar 10, 2016 04:37:00 PM

Free agent LB Tahir Whitehead is visiting the Bucs on Thursday.

Whitehead started 24 games for the Lions over the last two seasons, earning solid marks against the run from Pro Football Focus along the way. He would be a solid addition for a Tampa defense which needs help on the strong side. Whitehead turns 26 in April.
Thu, Mar 10, 2016 09:16:00 AM

The Newark Star-Ledger's Eliot Shorr-Parks reports the Eagles are interested in free agent SLB Tahir Whitehead.

With Kiko Alonso apparently on his way out the door via trade to the Dolphins, the Lions are looking for a starter to team up with projected MLB Jordan Hicks and WLB Mychal Kendricks. Whitehead (6'2/241) was drafted by new Eagles DC Jim Schwartz in Detroit and is coming off back-to-back solid seasons.
Mon, Mar 7, 2016 04:25:00 PM

Lions LB Tahir Whitehead played as the second-team middle linebacker in the third preseason game.

Whitehead had lined up as the first-team strongside 'backer throughout training camp, but Travis Lewis started and recorded eight tackles in that position against the Jaguars. A 2012 seventh-round pick, Lewis has just seven career tackles, so it would be surprising if Whitehead lost his job to him. Whitehead's role could be in danger if 2014 second-rounder Kyle Van Noy could ever get healthy.
Sat, Aug 29, 2015 09:00:00 AM

Tahir Whitehead has been operating as the starting strong-side linebacker at Lions camp.

It sounds like he's comfortably ahead of 2014 second-rounder Kyle Van Noy. Van Noy has been a mess in pass-coverage so far at camp and has been left "spinning in his shoes" at times trying to keep up with RBs Ameer Abdullah and Zach Zenner. Whitehead should hold down the gig as a plus run defender.
Fri, Aug 7, 2015 10:14:00 AM

Tahir Whitehead is expected to compete for the Lions' strong-side linebacker job.

Whitehead started in place of Stephen Tulloch last year, finishing with 86 tackles and grading out as PFF's No. 14 inside linebacker. With Tulloch healthy, Whitehead will need to beat out Kyle Van Noy for a starting job. Whitehead can also back up at all three linebacker spots.
Source: MLive.com
Sat, Mar 28, 2015 05:53:00 PM

The Lions are using Tahir Whitehead at all three linebacker spots during OTAs.

Whitehead has been a strong-side linebacker his first two seasons, so the increased versatility should help his roster chances. The Lions drafted Kyle Van Noy to play SAM, and Stephen Tulloch and DeAndre Levy are locked in as starters. Whitehead is behind Ashlee Palmer for sub-package snaps, but could be a candidate to back up at middle linebacker.
Sun, Jun 15, 2014 03:05:00 PM

The Detroit News expects the Lions to let LBs Tahir Whitehead, Travis Lewis and Ashlee Palmer compete for Justin Durant's old job on the strong-side.

Whitehead and Lewis were both late-round picks last spring, while Palmer is a four-year veteran. Whitehead and Lewis combined for just three snaps on defense as rookies, while Palmer has only made nine starts in four years. The Lions should be on the lookout for low-cost vets on the open market.
Tue, Mar 26, 2013 02:51:00 PM

Lions DC Gunther Cunningham believes fifth-round LB Tahir Whitehead is "much better than a fifth-round draft pick."

"He is something," Cunningham said. "That's by far the biggest surprise I've had in quite a while as a coach." Whitehead has been drawing raves all spring, and appears ticketed for more than just special teams as a rookie. A dynamo behind the line at Temple, Whitehead could see meaningful snaps as a nickel rusher.
Source: MLive.com
Tue, Jun 5, 2012 09:59:00 AM

Fifth-round LB Tahir Whitehead impressed Lions coaches with his explosiveness at rookie minicamp.

Whitehead's new coaches were also impressed with his ability to "digest a new scheme." The Detroit Free Press believes Whitehead could "turn out to be the surprise pick of the draft this fall." If Whitehead makes an impression as a rookie, it will likely be on special teams and in the nickel defense.
Sat, May 19, 2012 09:43:00 AM

Depth Charts

Skill Players
PosRoleName
QB1Matthew Stafford
2Jake Rudock
3Brad Kaaya
RB1Ameer Abdullah
2Theo Riddick
3Zach Zenner
4Dwayne Washington
5Matt Asiata
GLB1Ameer Abdullah
2Zach Zenner
3RB1Theo Riddick
2Ameer Abdullah
WR11Golden Tate
2Jace Billingsley
3Jared Abbrederis
4Michael Rector
WR21Marvin Jones
2Kenny Golladay
3T.J. Jones
4Keshawn Martin
5Noel Thomas
WR31Kenny Golladay
TE1Eric Ebron
2Darren Fells
3Cole Wick
4Michael Roberts
5Tim Wright
LT1Greg Robinson
2Cyrus Kouandjio
3Corey Robinson
4Taylor Decker
LG1Graham Glasgow
2Laken Tomlinson
3Brandon Thomas
C1Travis Swanson
2Leo Koloamatangi
RG1T.J. Lang
2Joe Dahl
RT1Rick Wagner
2Cornelius Lucas
3Storm Norton
4Nick Becton
K1Matt Prater