Former Pitt safety Jordan Whitehead played in Super Bowl LV on Sunday and helped the Tampa Buccaneers to a 31-9 win over the Kansas City Chiefs, and he did so despite suffering through a torn labrum.
Whitehead suffered the injury against the Green Bay Packers during the NFC title game on Jan. 24, but after limited participation in team practices on Wednesday and Thursday and full participation on Friday, he decided to play and came up with two tackles.
Although it was not his most productive game, Whitehead was part of an effective Buccaneers defense that limited the Chiefs to three field goals in the game. And his performance capped off a season in which he came up with 74 tackles, two interceptions, two sacks, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery in the regular season. It also wraps up a four-game playoff stretch in which Whitehead had nine tackles, two forced fumbles and one pass breakup en route to a Super Bowl victory.
As a result of the injury, Whitehead will have to undergo shoulder surgery in the offseason. However, the former fourth-round draft pick will also head into the offseason having won a Super Bowl ring after just three seasons as a starter in the NFL. And at age 23, he should have a long career ahead of him once he is able to recover and take the field again.
With that said, Whitehead was not the only Pitt alum to win a Super Bowl on Sunday, as LeSean McCoy served as a backup for the Buccaneers and Roger Kingdom served as an assistant coach for the team. For McCoy, the win is his second in two years, but he has had little to do with either as a backup. As for Whitehead, the victory appears to only be the first major achievement in a promising career.