One of the greatest defensive backs in NFL history, Charles Woodson, is going to play his final home game for the Oakland Raiders in week 16, and in order to make it a special occasion, the team might be planning on giving him an opportunity to show he still has some offensive chops in his aging body.
When Woodson won the Heisman award in 1997 for Michigan, he did it primarily as a defensive player, but the Wolverines did use him on offense as well. We don’t see the offense-defense mix as much as we used to in recent years, although J.J. Watt flourished for a short while last season as something of a touchdown catching tight end. Woodson has two receptions for the Raiders in 1999 and 2000 for a total of 27 yards. Since then he hasn’t made a single offense impact on a game, through his years with the Raiders and Packers.
His ability to catch the ball isn’t gone. Woodson, celebrating his 39th birthday two months ago, has five interceptions this season, making it to 65 in his career, fifth on the all-time list and number one among active players. In his 18th NFL season, he’s never had a year without an interception. He led the league in INTs twice in the past, but he’s three behind Reggie Nelson of the Bengals this season, and won’t catch up with him.
Woodson, with offense or no, is going down as one of the best to play in the secondary, and will get something of a special farewell from Raiders fans, playing in the final home game of the season against the San Diego Chargers. He’s an 8-time Pro Bowler and three-time first team All-Pro, who has played for the Raiders in 11 of his 18 seasons: From 1998 to 2005 before going to the Packers and winning a Super Bowl, and since 2012 with the Raiders again.