For the second time in three years, Danny Woodhead's season came to an early end.
In 2014, a broken ankle in Week 3 cost him virtually the entire campaign. This season, number 39 injured his ACL in the first quarter of Week 2's win over the Jacksonville Jaguars and was subsequently placed on IR.
If you expected the popular running back to lament his misfortune, then you don't know Danny Woodhead. The veteran remains as positive and upbeat as ever when discussing his rehab as well as his future.
"I'm doing great," he said after an early morning rehab session. "I really am. I am doing everything to get back. My spirits are high. I'm very pleased with my progression. It sucks being out, but injuries are a part of football. It is what it is. It's part of the game. Does it suck? Yeah, but I'm not going to dwell on it. I know God has a plan for me."
Woodhead then pauses and lets out the big smile that has endeared him to Chargers fans over the last four seasons.
"But I will say I'm really excited for next year."
That excitement has fueled Woodhead over the past six weeks.
Ever since being carted off the Qualcomm Stadium turf, the eight-year veteran has been a mainstay at Chargers Park. He arrives early in the morning, spending hours diligently rehabbing his knee before heading home to his wife and three young children.
Even away from the facility, he continues treatment on his knee. Having gone through the process of treating a season-ending injury in the past, he knows what is required to return the next season at full strength.
"You can't just go into the building, rehab and then go home and be done. Sometimes I feel like I spend more time working when I'm home (than just being at home) because I'm busy with my knee. I spend the whole day focusing on getting it better."
While eyeing a return to the field in 2017, he is also focused on assisting the Bolts in 2016. Woodhead makes himself available to his teammates whenever needed to provide tips and guidance.
"I think we are a really good team," he said. "The ball just didn't bounce our way in a few games. That's tough, but we have a bunch of fighters on the team from one to 53. We have the right type of people who will do everything they can. I care about these guys. I'm here every day, and I've been through it with these guys. When they need me, I'm here for them. They all know that I care about them. We're all brothers in here, so everyone knows even though I'm not playing that I'm always a guy that they can talk to."
One teammate he is particularly pleased with is fellow running back Melvin Gordon. Woodhead's bread and butter is in the passing game, and he's proud of how number 28 has stepped up in that department in both pass protection and catching the ball out of the backfield.
"(He's been) awesome. He's playing it more because of the circumstances, and he's done a great job. And he also looks good running the ball. He's doing everything. He's working hard and doing everything he can each game."