Woodhead fills void, with or without Sanchez - Metro US

Woodhead fills void, with or without Sanchez

By the time Danny Woodhead landed at his locker at the Jets training facility yesterday, a teammate had tripped him, another pushed him aside on the way to the showers and one whipped a towel at him.

Just add “team jester” to the résumé of a man who already plays on special teams, wide receiver and running back for Gang Green.

“Obviously, all three positions require a different mentality,” Woodhead said of filling the void left by Leon Washington, who went down with an injury earlier this year. “I’m just happy with the opportunity.”

He’ll get an opportunity again this Sunday against Atlanta. Neither he nor coach Rex Ryan, though, know who will be getting him the ball. Mark Sanchez practiced yesterday for the first time since spraining his right knee in a win over Buffalo on Dec. 3.

“We’ll play it day to day,” Sanchez said. “I’m planning on [playing].”

Whether it’s Sanchez or Kellen Clemens under center, Woodhead has added another dimension to the Jets’ offense. He gave Thomas Jones a breather in last Sunday’s 26-3 win over the Bucs, totaling 52 yards on seven touches in a “slash role.”

“When you put him out there on the field, you have to account for him,” said guard Alan Faneca. “He may not be a proven commodity like Leon Washington, but he’s the type of guy who makes plays.”

It’s the first season Woodhead has gotten to make those plays. The former Div. II standout suffered a season-ending knee injury in 2008 training camp. After a strong preseason this year, he was surprisingly cut in September only to be signed to the practice squad two days later. Then in October, he was signed to the active roster following the injury to Washington. Since then, Woodhead has been perhaps the busiest man on the Jets’ roster, using his versatility as an asset.

“Guys like him are invaluable, they can do so many things,” said tackle Damien Woody. “He’s got resolve. He’s the type of guy you need one of on a team.”

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