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Former Cat Woodyard named AFC Player of the Week

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Wesley Woodyard returned to Commonwealth Stadium for Homecoming on Oct. 20. (Britney McIntosh, UK Athletics) Wesley Woodyard returned to Commonwealth Stadium for Homecoming on Oct. 20. (Britney McIntosh, UK Athletics)

Wesley Woodyard had carved out a niche for himself in Denver. He was the Broncos' special teams ace and captain, as well as a backup at linebacker who stepped in whenever he was needed.

Even so, the former Kentucky star recognized he had an opportunity heading into his fifth professional season. With D.J. Williams suspended, Woodyard stepped into a starting role.

He is taking full advantage his opportunity.

Through seven games for first-place Denver, Woodyard leads the team with 61 tackles to go along with three sacks, two interceptions, three passes defensed and one forced fumble. He is one of just two players in the NFL with at least 50 tackles, three sacks and two interceptions.

His best effort of the season came this weekend against the New Orleans Saints. He had 13 tackles (9 solo), one sack, one interception, two passes defensed and one forced fumble on Sunday, which earned him AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors. More importantly, he helped limit Drew Brees and the prolific Saints offense to just 14 points and 252 totals yards.

As the Denver Post writes, Woodyard is definitely making the most of his starting role.

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