|Danny Woodhead, known for his small stature, has come up huge the Pats. (US Presswire)|
Woodhead, a castoff from the division-rival Jets, was signed by the Patriots before the teams played in Week 2. Originally scooped up as a special-teams contributor, and potentially to help game plan for the Jets, Woodhead's versatility has helped him emerge as a key contributor as a runner and receiver for the Patriots in the wake of Kevin Faulk's season-ending injury.
He ranks second on the team with 312 rushing yards while averaging 5.6 yards per carry and is fourth on the Patriots with 22 catches for 217 yards. He has four combined touchdowns, including a 36-yard run against Indianapolis last week.
A record-setting running back out of Division II Chadron State, the 5-foot-8 Woodhead signed with the Jets as an undrafted rookie in 2008. Woodhead left Chadron State as the holder of nearly all school and Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference rushing and all-purpose yardage records. He holds the all-time collegiate record with an average of 190.97 rushing yards per game.
He received significant work during the 2009 offseason with Thomas Jones and Leon Washington holding out, and managed to land a spot on the team's practice squad as the Jets experimented with switching Woodhead to receiver. He was elevated to the active roster in October and eventually returned to the backfield as a third-down back.
However, Woodhead got caught up in a numbers game and when he was released Sept. 14, the Patriots pounced. Woodhead is coming off a 69-yard rushing game against the Colts in Week 11.