Former Ravens Running Back Danny Woodhead at Peace With Retirement


Less than a week after being released by the Ravens, running back Danny Woodhead announced his retirement this weekend.

And so ended a career for a running back that everybody called too small to play big-time college football, let alone be a pesky chain-mover in the NFL for 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."

Undrafted in 2008, Woodhead spent three years with the New York Jets, three with the New England Patriots, four with the San Diego Chargers and one with the Ravens.

With hard work, quickness and a whole lot of grit, Woodhead amassed 2,238 rushing yards for 15 touchdowns on the ground and 2,698 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns via the air. He posted 5,694 total yards (including kick returns).

Beyond the stats, the 5-foot-8, 204-pound Chadron State product proved people wrong his entire career. And he ended it with only a long series of "thank yous" to everyone involved.

"I'm thankful for everything everyone has done on my journey," Woodhead said.

The last four years were a struggle with his health, as he missed 35 games during that span and suited up for all 16 just once in 2015.

After signing a three-year contract with the Ravens a year ago, he suffered a major hamstring injury on the first series of the season, sidelining him for eight games. Once he returned, others had stepped up and he didn't have as big a role as envisioned.

Woodhead was still working out earlier this offseason at the Under Armour Performance Center. There was reported interest from his former team, the Patriots, after the Ravens released him. But Woodhead said he's at peace with his decision to retire.

"When it came down to it, I really feel like God was giving me an overwhelming amount of peace about going on to the next chapter of my life, so let's do it," Woodhead told the World-Herald's Rich Kaipust. "If I have a peace about it, then that's probably something I should do."

Beyond his faith, a large part of the decision is also his family. Woodhead will return home to Omaha, Neb., with his wife and four young kids. The youngest was born a week after his hamstring injury, which gave him more time to be at home and reflect.

"I truly believe everything happens for a reason," Woodhead said on "The Lounge" last November. "It gave me, looking back, the whole time that [my wife] recovered. I guess it's my time to be a dad and be around the house a little bit as I'm rehabbing.

"You give up a lot [to play in the NFL]. I try to do the best I can, try to be a father and a husband and do the best I can at that. That's my No. 1 outside of my relationship with Christ. But it's hard."

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