Rex Burkhead
refer to caption
Burkhead with the New England Patriots in 2017
No. 28 – Houston Texans
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born: (1990-07-02) July 2, 1990 (age 32)
Winchester, Kentucky
Height:5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight:215 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High school:Plano Senior (Plano, Texas)
College:Nebraska (2009–2012)
NFL Draft:2013 / Round: 6 / Pick: 190
Career history
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 18, 2021
Rushing yards:1,828
Rushing average:4.0
Rushing touchdowns:17
Receptions:155
Receiving yards:1,330
Receiving touchdowns:8
Return yards:131
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Rex Burkhead (born July 2, 1990) is an American football running back for the Houston Texans of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Nebraska and was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. After four seasons with the Bengals, Burkhead spent his next four seasons with the New England Patriots, where he appeared in consecutive Super Bowls and won Super Bowl LIII. Burkhead joined the Texans in 2021.

Early life

Burkhead was born in Winchester, Kentucky, and raised in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas. He attended Plano Senior High School in Plano, Texas, where he played high school football for the Wildcats. Burkhead was on the varsity team for all four years of his high school career and even played in the division 5A basketball playoffs his senior year.[1] As a junior, he rushed for 1,762 yards and 28 touchdowns, leading the school to a state semifinal appearance in the Texas 5-A football playoffs.[2] He earned first-team all-district honors in basketball as a junior and senior, and as a freshman he was part of Class 5A state championship basketball team.

College career

As a freshman at the University of Nebraska in 2009, Burkhead played in nine games, rushing for 346 yards on 81 carries with three touchdowns.[3] As a sophomore in 2010, Burkhead was second on the depth chart behind senior Roy Helu.[4] Burkhead played in all 14 games as the backup, and rushed for 951 yards on 172 carries and seven touchdowns.[5] In 2011, Burkhead took over as the starting running back as a junior. Nebraska had little experience at running back that season, and Burkhead got the majority of the carries, including a school-record 38 carries against the Iowa Hawkeyes.[6] He ended up rushing for 1,357 yards on 284 carries with 15 touchdowns and was named a first team All-Big Ten selection.[7][8] In 2012, with expectations high, Burkhead sprained his knee in the season opener and missed two games before re-injuring the knee four games later.[9] Burkhead missed six games total in the season, but still finished with five touchdowns and 675 yards on just 98 carries for a 6.9 yard average.[10][11][12]

He was considered the ninth or tenth best running back prospect for the 2013 NFL Draft and was ranked in the top 150 overall.[13][14]

He graduated from Nebraska in three-and-a-half years with a bachelor's degree in history. He earned repeated scholar-athlete awards throughout his career, including first-team CoSIDA Academic All-American in 2011 and 2012, and recognition as one of 15 National Football Foundation Scholar Athletes in 2012.[15]

College statistics

Season Rushing Receiving
Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Avg Lng TD
2009 81 349 4.3 34 3 11 92 8.4 24 1
2010 172 951 5.5 33 7 15 148 9.9 31 0
2011 284 1,357 4.8 52 15 21 177 8.4 30 2
2012 98 675 6.9 73 5 11 92 8.4 25 2
Career 635 3,329 5.2 73 30 60 507 8.5 31 5

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
5 ft 10+14 in
(1.78 m)
214 lb
(97 kg)
30+78 in
(0.78 m)
9+34 in
(0.25 m)
4.73 s 1.63 s 2.73 s 4.09 s 6.85 s 39 in
(0.99 m)
10 ft 5 in
(3.18 m)
21 reps
All values from NFL Combine

Cincinnati Bengals

After being selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL Draft with the 190th overall pick, Burkhead signed with the team on May 13, 2013.[16][17]

2013 season

Burkhead played in all four preseason games, rushing 28 times for 130 yards with one touchdown, and five receptions for 39 yards. However, plagued by a hamstring injury all season, he was active for only one of the team's 16 games, making his NFL debut on November 10 playing on special teams in a 20–17 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.[18][19][20]

2014 season

Burkhead with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2013
Burkhead with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2013

In 2014, Burkhead played in nine games for the Bengals, mainly on special teams. On offense, he had nine rushes for 27 yards and his first career touchdown (against the Cleveland Browns) and seven receptions for 49 yards.[21] He had the most productive game of his career in the Bengals' opening round playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts, in which Burkhead started at wide receiver and totaled three receptions for 34 yards and one rush for 23 yards.[22][23][24]

2015 season

Burkhead played in all 16 regular season games for the Bengals, seeing action primarily on special teams. As a running back, he rushed four times for four yards, while catching 10 passes for 94 yards and a receiving touchdown.[25]

2016 season

Burkhead appeared in all 16 regular season games for the Bengals, including one start at running back. With regular playing time on offense, he rushed 74 times for 344 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught 17 passes for 145 yards.[26] In the Bengals' Week 17 game against the Baltimore Ravens, Burkhead carried the ball 27 times for 119 yards.[27]

New England Patriots

On March 14, 2017, Burkhead signed a one-year contract with the New England Patriots worth up to $3.15 million.[28][29]

2017 season: Super Bowl LII appearance

On September 7, on Thursday Night Football, Burkhead made his debut as a member of the Patriots. He was in the starting lineup and had three rushes for 15 yards and one reception for eight yards in the 42–27 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.[30] On September 17, against the New Orleans Saints in Week 2, he recorded his first touchdown as a member of the Patriots when he hauled in a 19-yard pass from quarterback Tom Brady in the first quarter of the 36–20 victory. He finished the game with three receptions for 41 yards.[31] On November 12, 2017, during Week 10 against the Denver Broncos, Burkhead had 10 rushes for 36 rushing yards, three receptions for 27 receiving yards and a receiving touchdown, and a blocked punt.[32] He thus became the first player to both catch a touchdown pass and block a punt in the same NFL game since 1977.[33] Burkhead finished his first season with the Patriots with 64 carries for 264 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns and recorded 30 catches for 254 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns.[34] In the playoffs, the Patriots defeated the Tennessee Titans in the Divisional Round without Burkhead, but Burkhead returned for the AFC Championship Game where he recorded one carry for five yards in the 24–20 victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars to reach Super Bowl LII. The Patriots lost 41–33 to the Philadelphia Eagles.[35] Burkhead recorded three carries for 18 yards and caught a pass for 46 yards in the Super Bowl.[36]

2018 season: Super Bowl LIII championship

On March 14, 2018, Burkhead signed a three-year contract extension with the Patriots.[37] In Week 3 against the Detroit Lions, Burkhead suffered a neck injury and was placed on injured reserve on September 26, 2018.[38] He was activated off injured reserve on November 26, 2018.[39] The Patriots won the AFC East and earned the #2-seed for the AFC Playoffs.[40]

On January 13, 2019, Burkhead scored his first-ever postseason touchdown in the Divisional Round with a six-yard run against the Los Angeles Chargers in a game New England won 41–28. One week later, he scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime as part of the 2019 AFC Championship game against the Kansas City Chiefs.[41] The Patriots won the coin toss, which eventually set up the offense with a 1st and 10 at the Kansas City 15-yard line. Burkhead ran up the middle for 10 yards and another three yards on the next play setting up 1st and Goal. Burkhead ran again up the middle for a 2-yard touchdown, sending the Patriots to Super Bowl LIII. Before his overtime touchdown, Burkhead had previously scored a rushing touchdown with 39 seconds left to give the Patriots a 31–28 lead, though the Chiefs responded with a 39-yard field goal to force overtime. Burkhead finished the game with 12 carries for 41 yards and two rushing touchdowns and had the game's longest run from scrimmage (14 yards). He also had four receptions for 28 yards.[42]

During the Super Bowl, Burkhead finished with 43 rushing yards, had the longest rushing play of the game (26 yards, tied with Sony Michel), and led all running backs from both teams with a 6.1 yards-per-carry average, as the Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams by a score of 13–3 in the lowest-scoring Super Bowl in history.[43] In New England's three playoff games, Burkhead totaled seven receptions on seven targets for 45 yards and registered one tackle on special teams.[44]

2019 season

In the 2019 season, Burkhead finished with 302 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns to go along with 27 receptions for 279 receiving yards in 13 games.[45]

2020 season

In Week 3 of the 2020 season, Burkhead recorded 98 scrimmage yards to go along with two rushing touchdowns and one receiving touchdown in the 36–20 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders.[46] In Week 10 against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday Night Football, Burkhead had two receiving touchdowns, including one thrown by wide receiver Jakobi Meyers on a trick play, during the 23–17 victory.[47] On November 22, 2020, Burkhead suffered a season-ending knee injury in a 27–20 loss to the Houston Texans.[48] He was placed on injured reserve on November 28, 2020.[49]

Houston Texans

2021 season

On June 1, 2021, Burkhead signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Houston Texans that included a $125K signing bonus.[50] In week 16, against the Los Angeles Chargers, Burkhead finished the game with a career high 149 rushing yards along with two touchdowns in the 41–29 victory.[51] For his performance, Burkhead was named the FedEx Ground Player of the Week.[52]

2022 season

On January 7, 2022, Burkhead signed a contract extension with the Texans through the 2022 season.[53]

NFL career statistics

Legend
Won the Super Bowl
Bold Career high

Regular season

Year Team Games Rushing Receiving Fumbles
GP GS Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Fum Lost
2013 CIN 1 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0
2014 CIN 9 0 9 27 3.0 10 1 7 49 7.0 15 0 0 0
2015 CIN 16 0 4 4 2.0 2 0 10 94 9.4 27 1 1 1
2016 CIN 16 1 74 344 4.6 17 2 17 145 8.5 18 0 1 1
2017 NE 10 3 64 264 4.1 31 5 30 254 8.5 23 3 1 0
2018 NE 8 4 57 186 3.3 12 0 14 131 9.4 25 1 2 1
2019 NE 13 1 65 302 4.7 33 3 27 279 10.3 32 0 1 1
2020 NE 10 0 67 274 4.1 18 3 25 192 7.7 24 3 0 0
2021 HOU 16 5 122 427 3.5 36 3 25 186 7.4 20 0 1 0
Career 99 14 462 1,828 4.0 36 17 155 1,330 8.6 32 8 7 4

Postseason

Year Team Games Rushing Receiving Fumbles
GP GS Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Avg Lng TD Fum Lost
2014 CIN 1 1 1 23 23.0 23 0 3 34 11.3 26 0 0 0
2015 CIN 1 0 1 4 4.0 4 0 1 5 5.0 5 0 0 0
2017 NE 2 0 4 23 5.8 9 0 1 46 46.0 46 0 0 0
2018 NE 3 1 23 96 4.2 26 3 7 45 6.4 8 0 0 0
2019 NE 1 0 3 4 1.3 4 0 3 32 10.7 12 0 0 0
Career 8 2 32 150 4.7 26 3 15 162 10.8 46 0 0 0

Personal life

Burkhead is a Christian.[54] Burkhead is married to Danielle Burkhead. They have two sons together.[55]

Burkhead was the 2012 winner of the Uplifting Athletes Rare Disease Champion award. He was awarded for his work with a 6-year-old suffering from a rare pediatric brain tumor called a low-grade glioma.[56] Burkhead's commitment to community service has been personified by his friendship with that child, Jack Hoffman, a cancer patient from Atkinson, Nebraska. Jack contacted Nebraska in 2011, asking for a Burkhead photo. Burkhead offered to meet Jack, and his involvement in their relationship led to national notice when he arranged for Jack to suit up in a Cornhusker uniform and “run for a touchdown” in the 2013 Nebraska spring football game before a crowd of more than 60,000. President Barack Obama responded by inviting Jack and his family to the White House, and the family included Burkhead in its party.[57] In honor of Jack Hoffman, Burkhead launched the Team Jack Foundation.[58]

References

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  2. ^ "NFL Events: Combine Player Profiles – Rex Burkhead". www.nfl.com. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  3. ^ "Rex Burkhead 2009 Game Log". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  4. ^ "2010 Nebraska Cornhuskers Stats". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  5. ^ "Rex Burkhead 2010 Game Log". College Football at Sports-Reference.com. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
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  7. ^ "2011 All-Big Ten teams, individual awards". November 29, 2011.
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  9. ^ "Rex Burkhead looks to put a period on his Nebraska career".
  10. ^ Star, BRIAN CHRISTOPHERSON / Lincoln Journal. "Burkhead's Husker career down to one last game".
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  15. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on November 4, 2014. Retrieved January 10, 2015.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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