Danny Woodhead, New York Jets
(Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)

Former New York Jets running back Danny Woodhead, who defied the odds in getting a chance to play in the NFL, announced his retirement.

Danny Woodhead never scored a touchdown for the New York Jets. He never led the team in rushing or receiving. In fact, he played just 11 games over parts of two seasons with the team. Yet it was a picture of him in a Jets uniform that he used when announcing his retirement on Instagram.

10 years! Wow, God had crazy plans for a small little kid from North Platte, NE! It’s been a wild ride and feel so blessed He allowed me to do what I loved for so long. But now it’s time to say goodbye to the game I love. First, I want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Without Him my career wouldn’t have been possible. He blessed me with the gifts and He paved the way. All I had to do was follow His plans for my life, and His plans were crazy awesome! Next, I want to thank my wife who has been by my side since freshman year of high school. She has been a rock through all the ups and downs. Sis, Willy, Mae Mae, and Hopie your daddy is going to be home a ton more and I can’t wait! Thanks to my Dad and Mom for always supporting me and showing me that God is first, then everything else will fall into place. Ben, Joel, and Anna thanks for preparing me for the NFL in our backyard games growing up. The dreaded in-laws Steve and Suzie for always being there for me. Chris Gittings (agent) you’re the best and thankful your my brother/uncle! Thank you Jets, Patriots, Chargers, and Ravens! Thanks to all my head coaches (Bob Zohner, Brad Smith, Bill O’Boyle, Eric Mangini, Rex Ryan, Bill Belichick, Mike McCoy, and John Harbaugh) who believed in me! To my rbs coaches (coach skiles, coach reiners, Jimmy Raye, A Lynn, Ivan, Ollie, Ridge, and Thomas) thanks for putting up with me. Thanks to all my teammates from high school till now. Without you guys I never would’ve become who I was as a player. To all my olinemen, you guys deserve the credit for anything that I received credit for. I thank you for helping make my career. To all the trainers, team docs, strength coaches, chiropractors, massage therapists, physical therapists, body gurus thanks for making sure I was on the field. To all the people who made my life easier at the facility (ops, pr, equipment staff, cafe workers, custodians) thanks and your work doesn’t go unnoticed. And how could i forget all my fans?! You’re the best and have always felt the love and support! I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few but know that I’m thankful for everything everyone has done on my journey.

A post shared by Danny Woodhead (@teamwoody39) on

Woodhead starred at Division II Chadron State, twice winning the Harlon Hill Trophy, Division II’s equivalent of the Heisman Trophy. Despite not being invited to the NFL Combine, the Jets signed him as an undrafted free agent before the 2009 season.

He’d carry the ball 15 times for 64 yards and catch eight passes for 87 yards before the Jets cut him loose just one game into the 2010 season. He’d quickly get picked up by the New England Patriots, spending parts of three seasons with the Jets’ hated rivals.


In his first game against the Jets on Dec. 6, 2010, he carried the ball just two times for 11 yards but caught four passes for 104 yards, including a 50-yard bomb from Tom Brady late in the third quarter that set the Patriots up for another touchdown, putting them up 38-3.

Woodhead’s best statistical season would come in 2015 while a member of the San Diego Chargers. He carried the ball 98 times for 336 yards and three touchdowns, adding 80 catches for 755 yards and six touchdowns. His 1,091 yards from scrimmage were the most of his career, closely followed by the 1,034 he racked up for the Chargers in 2013.

Injuries limited the 5-foot-9, 200-pound dual-threat back, as he’d play in just 10 of a possible 32 games over the past two seasons with the Chargers and Baltimore Ravens.

He finishes his career with 517 carries for 2,238 rushing yards and 15 rushing touchdowns to go along with 300 receptions for 2,698 receiving yards and an additional 17 touchdowns.

Ravens safety Eric Weddle, who played multiple years with Woodhead in San Diego, took to Twitter to express his feelings upon hearing of his friend’s retirement.

Everyone at ESNY wishes Danny the best in retirement.

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