NFL veteran and former Nebraska Cornhuskers, New England Patriots, Cincinnati Bengals and Houston Texans running back Rex Burkhead is retiring from the NFL after 10 seasons, according to NFL insider Ari Meirov.
Burkhead played all four years of his collegiate career with the Nebraska Cornhuskers. He helped see them through their transition from the Big 12 to the Big Ten.
Burkhead came into the league in 2013 after being selected by the Cincinnati Bengals as the 190th overall pick. After playing for the Bengals for four years, Burkhead then went on to play for the New England Patriots for four years. Burkhead played out his last two years with the Houston Texans.
Rex Burkhead became a Nebraska Cornhuskers legend before becoming a star running back for the Patriots
Former Nebraska Cornhuskers running back Rex Burkhead got significant looks in all of the four years he was with the team. As a freshman, Burkhead ran the ball 81 times as he shared the backfield with Roy Helu Jr.
Burkhead took over as the main back in 2010 and 2011. 2011 was his best year as a Nebraska Cornhusker as he managed to get 1,357 yards on the ground along with 15 rushing touchdowns. Burkhead had over 1,000 yards from scrimmage in 2010 and 2011 before splitting the backfield with Ameer Abdullah in 2012.
One of Burkhead’s shining moments at Nebraska was when he helped the Huskers come back from a 21-point second-half deficit against the Ohio State Buckeyes in 2011. Burkhead’s go-ahead run with just over five minutes left in the game helped Nebraska to the program’s only victory over the Buckeyes.
Nebraska Football Play of the Day:
— Husker Nation (@HuskerNationGBR) July 17, 2016
Burkhead was also known for his relationship with Jack Hoffman, a child with brain cancer who became close to the team. Hoffman wore Burkhead’s jersey during his famous spring game touchdown.
— Pick Six Previews (@PickSixPreviews) April 16, 2016
#Texans RB Rex Burkhead (@RBrex34),met then 6-year-old Jack Hoffman after he was diagnosed w/ brain cancer & they’ve remained close.Rex will host @TeamJack Foundation’s TopGolf Classic in Katy Oct 10th.Proceeds benefit its
mission to fund childhood brain cancer research&awareness pic.twitter.com/QyQjP7tm8B
— Mark Berman (@MarkBerman_) September 23, 2022
— Team Jack (@TeamJack) February 23, 2014
Former Nebraska RB Rex Burkhead helped the New England Patriots win a Super Bowl
Former Nebraska RB Rex Burkhead started his career in Cincinnati and showed that he could be a solid contributor in his fourth year. Burkhead had just 13 rushing attempts in his first three years in the NFL, but in his fourth year, he had two rushing touchdowns on 344 rushing yards.
Burkhead is most famous for his four-year stint with the Patriots in which he helped them win a Super Bowl against the Los Angeles Rams. Although it is the team he is most known for, Burkhead never played a full 16-game season, and he would never eclipse the 344 rushing yards mark he set with the Bengals.
Burkhead contributed as a solid pass blocker as well as someone who could catch the ball out of the backfield as a reliable checkdown guy for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Burkhead averaged over 10 yards per reception with just under 300 yards receiving with the Patriots in 2019. Burkhead was also known for his high-effort special teams contributions.
First player since 1977 to score a receiving TD and block a punt in the same game.
BAH GAWD, THAT’S REX BURKHEAD’S MUSIC!!
— Nebraska Football (@HuskerFootball) November 14, 2017
In his Super Bowl victory with the Patriots, Burkhead split the backfield with Sony Michel in a low-scoring defensive battle. Burkhead averaged over six yards per carry as he took on his former Nebraska teammate Ndamukong Suh. In an article from TheSpun, Burkhead pointed out how difficult it would be to go up against Suh in the interior.
“He’s a great player,” Burkhead said. “He goes out there and he’s passionate and he’s physical. He’s a defensive, physical guy and he just goes out there and plays his tail off. Maybe sometimes emotions get him, but he’s a great player.”
“I know him personally and he’s a great guy, “Burkhead said. “He’s someone I learned a lot from during my time at Nebraska.”
Burkhead also scored the game-winning touchdown for the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game against the Kansas City Chiefs. The Patriots would go on to lose to the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl.
THANK YOU REX BURKHEAD
Former Patriot and Super Bowl winning running back Rex Burkhead is retiring from the NFL!
— Savage (@SavageSports_) February 5, 2024
Burkhead saw his most productive year as a running back in 2021 with the Houston Texans. He had a career-high 427 yards rushing with nearly 200 yards receiving to go along with it. Burkhead ended his stint with the Texans after the 2022 season and did not find a home for the 2023 season before officially retiring.
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