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Chargers running back Woodhead out for year with broken lower right leg

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SAN DIEGO — Danny Woodhead was many things to the San Diego Chargers — running back, receiver, leader, hard worker and popular teammate.

Now he's out for the season, having broken his lower right leg in a 22-10 victory at Buffalo on Sunday.

"He means a lot to the organization," coach Mike McCoy said Monday. "His love for the game, the way he plays, his love for his teammates, the way he practices, great to be around. He's one of the first guys in the building. He only knows how to do it one way. He's a true professional. We're going to miss him but we've got to move on."

Woodhead was hurt on the first drive Sunday. He was stopped after a 1-yard gain by diving defensive tackle Kyle Williams. Williams hit Woodhead directly in the right ankle, which appeared to twist underneath the player.

"It's a brutal business and it's tough and injuries are a part of the game, unfortunately," McCoy said. "But it means so much to him. That's the toughest thing. The first thing he said to me after the game was, 'Coach, don't worry. I'll be back and I'll be back stronger than ever. I promise that.' I can't wait to get him back out here."

Woodhead was lost one week after Ryan Mathews sprained his right knee in a victory against the Seattle Seahawks. Mathews will be out for several weeks.

McCoy said he and general manager Tom Telesco would decide Monday how to go about adding a running back.

Donald Brown, who carried 31 times for 62 yards, and rookie Branden Oliver are the only healthy backs on the roster.

PHOTO: San Diego Chargers running back Danny Woodhead leaves the game with an ankle injury in the first quarter against the Buffalo Bills in an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014, in Orchard Park, N.Y. The Chargers won 22-10. (AP Photo/The Buffalo News, Harry Scull Jr.)
San Diego Chargers running back Danny Woodhead leaves the game with an ankle injury in the first quarter against the Buffalo Bills in an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014, in Orchard Park, N.Y. The Chargers won 22-10. (AP Photo/The Buffalo News, Harry Scull Jr.)

"It's next man up, and Donald showed he can do that," McCoy said. "He did an outstanding job with a number of touches. He didn't want to come out of the game."

Brown was signed in part because of Mathews' injury history.

"My mindset hasn't changed," Brown said. "You always prepare like you're going to start and get all the reps because you never know what's going to happen. Be prepared for any and every situation."

Brown said it was "definitely a bummer" to see Woodhead get hurt.

"You see a guy work hard, day in and day out, love the game, just a phenomenal teammate, you hate to see a guy like that go down," Brown said.

The Chargers (2-1) host the Jacksonville Jaguars (0-3), who have been outscored 119-44 and will be giving rookie Blake Bortles his first start. Bortles took over for Chad Henne at halftime of a 44-17 loss to Indianapolis on Sunday.


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