NFL

‘Strong-Willed’ James White Rejoins Patriots After Father’s Tragic Death

New England Patriots running back James White has returned to the football world after suffering a tragic loss in his own life.

A veteran running back for the Patriots, White lost his father, Tyrone, in a car accident on September 20. White spent 10 days away from the team before rejoining them ahead of a Week 4 matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Not only were White’s teammates happy to see him back in a New England Patriots uniform, but one veteran even said the ‘strong-willed’ White inspired the team.

James White is a crucial part of the Patriots’ offense

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A fourth-round pick from Wisconsin in 2014, James White’s versatility and explosive play ability has made him a fan favorite in New England. 

Only standing 5 feet 10 inches and weighing 205 pounds, White has been an extremely productive receiving back in his six seasons. With his three catches for 30 yards in Week 1 factored in, White caught 323 passes for 2,839 yards and 24 touchdowns in 79 career games. 

White also ran for 1,141 yards and eight touchdowns on 279 career carries, a career 4.1 yards per attempt average. 

The 28-year-old running back also has 59 career postseason catches for 506 yards and three touchdowns. New England managed a historic comeback in Super Bowl 51 because White turned 14 receptions into 110 yards and a touchdown. 

That night also saw White run for two touchdowns, including the game-winner. White also scored five touchdowns and averaged 4.1 yards per attempt on 36 career postseason carries.

White tragically lost his father in a car accident

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Tragedy hit James White and his family on Sept. 20, 2020, just before the Patriots faced Russell Wilson and the Seahawks in a Week 2 showdown.

According to Local 10 in Miami, Tyrone White — James’ father and a Miami-Dade County police captain — died that day in a car crash in Cooper City, Fla.

According to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, White’s car “slid sideways, struck the curb and rolled over onto its side, before coming to rest on its roof on the sidewalk.” 

Tyrone’s wife, Lisa, was hospitalized and in critical condition. 

James White missed the Week 2 loss and a Week 3 victory over the Las Vegas Raiders. White’s teammates — both his current ones in New England and others, like Wilson, who had played with him elsewhere — paid tribute to him during that time.

‘Strong-willed’ James White just rejoined the Patriots

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James White is back with the New England Patriots, nearly two weeks after his father’s tragic death.

White returned to practice on September 30, four days before New England played Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.

According to ESPN, Patriots safety Devin McCourty said White’s return had a major impact on the team.

“He’s just a strong-willed person who, through all of this, gives other people inspiration and hope. Just with how he carries himself. I’ve looked up to him. . . . He inspires the guys in this locker room by just showing up today.”

New England has not ruled White out for Sunday’s game. Rex Burkhead filled the role of a pass-catching back well, snagging 11 targets for 96 yards and a touchdown in White’s absence.

White is a free agent after the season. He is in the final year of a three-year, $12 million contract extension he signed in April 2017.

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