Charles Woodson manages to star despite dealing with shoulder pain
Bill Williamson, ESPN Staff Writer
ALAMEDA, Calif. – Yes, it is mind-boggling that Charles Woodson is playing at a high level at age 39.
Add in the fact that he is playing with a shoulder that barks at him on a daily basis, it’s just downright silly what Woodson is accomplishing. The Oakland Raiders safety, who turned 39 on Oct. 7, was named AFC Defensive Player of the Month on Thursday. He had three interceptions in October.
Woodson is lucky even to be playing. He suffered a dislocated shoulder in Week 1. He was expected to miss at least one game. He did not. He kept going. On Thursday, Woodson acknowledged that it is not easy.
"I feel like, just get me to Sunday,” Woodson said of dealing with the injury. “If you get me to Sunday, I’ll be all right."
Asked if he plans to play next year, Woodson smiled and said, “I just know I’m good this week.” Asked if he thought about his after-football playing life,the winery owner quipped that he’ll be "drinking a lot of wine.”
As long as he can gut it out, Woodson will keep playing – and producing.
"If I wasn't making plays, I wouldn't still be around,” Woodson said. “That's for sure. It's a great feeling."
Oakland defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. said one of Woodson’s best attributes is the example he sets to the younger players on Oakland’s roster. Woodson made a crushing tackle at the goal line, leading with his bad shoulder, with Oakland leading 37-6 at San Diego on Sunday. Woodson shrugged when told about his coach’s words.
“I want to be an example to everyone who is watching,” he said.