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Danny Woodhead announces retirement after 10 years

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  • By Adam Maya
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Undrafted. Five-foot-eight. Hailing from Division II Chadron State. Danny Woodhead was the NFL's real-life version of Rudy.

Only he didn't simply make an NFL team. He made it in the NFL.

After a decade-long run in the league, the 33-year-old running back announced Friday night on his Instagram account that he is retiring.

"10 years! Wow, God had crazy plans for a small little kid from North Platte, NE!" the post read. "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."

Woodhead spent last season with the Baltimore Ravens before they released him Tuesday. Most of us first got acquainted with him in the summer of 2010 during the New York Jets' appearance on Hard Knocks. Woodhead would make the team, only to be cut after Week 1. But his star turn on HBO didn't go unnoticed.

He was quickly acquired by the New England Patriots, where he became Bill Belichick's Swiss army knife, catching passes out of the backfield, returning kicks and starring on coverage units, all while averaging 5.6 yards per carry in his first season in Foxborough. Woodhead remained with the Patriots for two more years, scoring a touchdown in their second Super Bowl loss to the New York Giants.

Woodhead later played four seasons with the San Diego Chargers, though two were severely cut short by injuries. The other two saw him tally a combined 156 catches and score 17 touchdowns.

He signed a three-year contract with the Ravens last March but missed most of the 2017 season with a hamstring injury. Woodhead closes out his career with 5,694 all-purpose yards and 32 touchdowns.

Not bad for a guy who was waived multiple times before making his NFL debut.

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

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