Brandon Manitoba’s Israel Idonije is an inspiration to Canadian University football players with NFL dreams.
Position: DE – Born: Nov. 17, 1980 Lagos Nigeria (raised Brandon, MB) – College: Manitoba (CIS) – Height: 6’6 – Weight: 275 – Draft: 2003 (signed as undrafted free agent by Cleveland Browns)
As a senior in 2002, Brandon, Manitoba’s Israel Idonije led the University of Manitoba Bisons with career-high 9 sacks and 31 tackles en route to team MVP honors.
Idonije was also named Canada West All-Star, CIS first-team All-Canadian selection, Manitoba Male Athlete-of-the-Year and the 2002 Canada West J.P. Metras Trophy winner, for outstanding lineman in Canadian University Football.
Idonije began playing football as a senior in high school. He was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Cleveland Browns in 2003.
Signed as a free agent with the Detroit Lions in July, 2013
Participated in 102 games (23 starts) over the past seven seasons with the Bears, registering 165 tackles (92 solo), 16.0 sacks and 11 TFLs… Added 4 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries and 15 PBUs… Tallied 36 special teams tackles and 7 blocked kicks during his career… His 7 blocked kicks rank tied for fourth in NFL history since 1992 when stat first was recorded… Posted 14.0 sacks over the last three seasons (2008-10), including a career-high in 2010 (8.0)… Blocked a kick in three consecutive games (9/16-9/30) during the 2007 season… Has appeared in 6 postseason contests, gathering 4 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 1 TFL and 2 special teams stops… Joined Chicago’s practice squad during the second half of the 2003 season after beginning his NFL career with Cleveland.
HONORS AND AWARDS:
2010 – All-Joe (USA Today). Bears “Walter Payton Man of the Year” nominee.
2009 – Ed Block Courage Award. Bears “Walter Payton Man of the Year” nominee.
2010 SEASON: Started a career-high 15 games, playing in all 16 contests… Posted career-high 8.0 sacks, which tied for the team lead… Finished second on Chicago defensive line with a career-high 46 tackles (25 solo) and also set career highs in TFLs (4) and forced fumble (3)… Added 5 PBUs… Recorded a career-high 2.5 sacks at CAR (10/10)… Started both playoff games, collecting 4 tackles, 0.5 sack and 1 TFL. GAMES PLAYED-STARTED: 16-15
2009 – Saw action in 15 games prior to being placed on Injured Reserve (12/30)… Finished with 2.5 sacks, the second highest total of his career… Credited with 20 tackles (9 solo), 1 forced fumble and 1 TFL… Added 7 special teams stops and 2 blocked kicks.
2008 – Appeared in all 16 games (3 starts), posting career highs with 28 tackles (18 solo) and 3.5 sacks… Also matched or established career highs in games played, games started, and PBUs (6)… Added 2 TFLs and 4 special teams stops… Set a career high with 1.5 sacks vs. JAX (12/7).
2007 – Tallied 23 tackles while appearing in all 16 games for the first time in his career, including a career-high 3 starts… Added career-high 3 blocks on special teams… Posted blocks in three straight weeks, blocking a 48-yard Dave Rayner field goal (9/16 vs. KC), a Nick Folk 23-yard field goal (9/23 vs. DAL) and a Jason Hanson extra-point (9/30 at DET)… Credited with career-high 5 tackles in three straight games (12/6 at WAS, 12/17 at MIN, 12/23 vs. GB)… Saw action in all 16 games, starting Games 14-16 at NT.
2006 – Registered 11 tackles with 1 PBU and 2 fumble recoveries… Blocked a 37-yard field goal attempt vs. MIA (11/5)… Added a career-high 10 special teams tackles while participating in 13 games, starting Game 5 at LDE; Inactive Games 1-3 due to an ankle injury… Participated in all 3 playoff contests recording 1st career postseason sack in the NFC Championship Game vs. NO (1/21/07).
2005 – Recorded 16 tackles with 1 sack while starting 1 of the 11 games played… Participated on special teams and as a reserve DL in Games 5-9, 11-16; Inactive Games 1-4, 10.
2004 – Participated in 15 games as a reserve D-lineman and on special teams recording 21 tackles including 1 sack… Tallied first NFL sack vs. SF (10/31).
2003 – Finished rookie season on Chicago’s practice squad after beginning the campaign with Cleveland before being waived injured (9/30)… Member of Bears practice squad for Weeks 12-17.