Danny Woodhead Injury: Updates on Patriots RB's Hand

Ben Chodos@bchodosCorrespondent IIJanuary 13, 2013

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 30: Danny Woodhead #39 of the New England Patriots runs with the ball against the Miami Dolphins during the game at Gillette Stadium on December 30, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Danny Woodhead’s day took an immediate turn for the worse, as the New England Patriots running back suffered a hand injury on his first play against the Houston Texans in an AFC postseason showdown. 

UPDATE: Monday, Jan. 14 at 11:44 a.m. ET by Brandon Galvin

Encouraging news for Patriots fans as Donny Wood appears to have escaped significant injury. Boston.com's Shalise Manza Young has the latest:

BB asked about Woodhead - says Danny examined, back on sideline during game, if team had needed him he could have returned

— shalise manza young (@shalisemyoung) January 14, 2013

Belichick added that Woodhead will be re-evaluated this week...sounds like worst-case scenario averted, as @rochiewbz indicated this morning

— shalise manza young (@shalisemyoung) January 14, 2013

---End of Update---



UPDATE: Monday, Jan. 14 at 9:16 a.m. ET

Great news for Patriots fans as Danny Woodhead is expected to be available for Sunday's AFC Championship game against the Ravens, according to WBZ's Dan Roche.

An NFL source tells #WBZ TV that Danny Woodhead(thumb) should be able to play Sunday in AFC Title game vs Ravens

— Dan Roche (@RochieWBZ) January 14, 2013

---End of Update---


The Boston Globe’s Shalise Manza Young reported the following on Woodhead’s condition.

Danny Woodhead appeared to injure left hand on first offensive play...has gone back to locker room

— shalise manza young (@shalisemyoung) January 13, 2013

The Patriots provided more details on the injury:

Danny Woodhead left the game with a thumb injury. His return is questionable.

— New England Patriots (@Patriots) January 13, 2013

The play on which Woodhead was injured was a run that resulted in no gain.

New England has other options in the backfield, but Woodhead is the most versatile rusher on the roster. 

Stevan Ridley is the primary back and gained 1,263 yards while scoring 12 touchdowns during the regular season. However, Shane Vereen also received 62 attempts during the course of the year. 

Vereen is the player who is likely to receive most of Woodhead’s carries if he is unable to return to the game, as ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss notes: 

We'll keep an eye on that Danny Woodhead injury (left hand/wrist). Thrusts Shane Vereen into earlier than anticipated action at RB.

— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) January 13, 2013

Woodhead’s absence will be felt mostly in the passing game, where his receiving skills and ability to make defenders miss made him an ideal checkdown option. He led all the New England running backs this season with 40 receptions for 446 yards and three touchdowns.

If one of the other backs is unable to step up as a receiver, the Patriots will not be able to move the ball as effectively as they do with Woodhead on the field. 

He is a sure-handed player who chips in and does the little things for his team, and he has the ability to make a difference when defenses are occupied with the Patriots' other playmakers. New England will greatly benefit if Woodhead is able to return to this game.