Door Opens for Danny Woodhead in Patriots’ Backfield After Kevin Faulk’s Injury


Sep 22, 2010

Door Opens for Danny Woodhead in Patriots' Backfield After Kevin Faulk's Injury FOXBORO, Mass. — Rivalry-fueled or not, the Patriots' signing of Danny Woodhead has taken on a new meaning.

With running back Kevin Faulk out for the season with a torn ACL, Woodhead — at least temporarily — became the fourth back on the depth chart behind Fred Taylor, Sammy Morris and BenJarvus Green-Ellis.

There's still no telling whether or not Woodhead will have a big role with the Patriots. He was released by the Jets last Tuesday and signed by the Pats on Saturday — an acquisition that screamed of a move to stoke the fire of the rivalry.

"That’s the NFL," Woodhead said. "You can be somewhere one day and another place another [day]. This is where I'm at, and I'm excited about it."

Woodhead took Laurence Maroney's roster spot, and he also took his locker and number, too. The locker thing was understandable, since it's next to Green-Ellis' stall and there were few available, anyway.

But the number was a curious decision, almost like seeing Prescott Burgess get No. 93 last season shortly after Richard Seymour was traded — or exiled, depending on your opinion of the matter.

When asked if Woodhead chose the number himself or if the team assigned it to him, he said, "This was the number that was available. I needed a number, so that's pretty much it."

Woodhead, who wore No. 3 as a running back at Chadron State, has never worn No. 39. In two-plus seasons with the Jets, Woodhead wore Nos. 22, 27, 35 and 83.

When he got to New England, Woodhead could have selected Nos. 37, 39, 41, 43, 45, 46, 48 and 49, all of which can be delegated to running backs, according to NFL rules. So, we may never know whether or not the numerical decision was his or not, but the fact of the matter is that he is in New England and now has a greater importance.

And if he can pass-block, he'll have an opportunity to gain a few reps on game days now that Faulk is out of the picture. Either way, Woodhead is just taking things in stride.

"If that’s something that can present itself and maybe I can do, then great, but I'm not trying to find out what I can do," Woodhead said. "That’s not for me to make the decision. My decision, I can come to work every single day, do my best, game plan for the Buffalo Bills and work as hard as I can in practice."

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