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LaMarr Woodley Named Defensive Player of the Month

It was certainly the October of LaMarr Woodley, as far as defenders go in the AFC. 

Woodley had 7.5 sacks in five games in October, including at least 1.5 in the last four games (all Steelers wins), thus earning him the AFC Defensive Player of the Month award. 

It's the first such honor in Woodley's career. The Steelers sack leader has nine sacks on the year, tying him with Philadelphia's Jason Babin for fourth in the NFL, and standing alone at the top of the AFC. 

Woodley was well on his way to a huge game against New England in Week 8, but a hamstring problem came up in the third quarter, forcing him out of action. He already had two sacks, and on the play the injury occured, he was en route to Patriots QB Tom Brady, possibly for No. 3 on the game. 

Woodley started off slowly, receiving criticism from fans for his lack of production, just a few weeks after signing a six-year, $61.5 million contract with Pittsburgh. He's earned that paycheck as of late, but he may not be able to play in Week 9 against Baltimore. 

Woodley continues to assert he'll be out there, but the nature of hamstring injuries do not typically suggest one week is enough recovery time. Either way, the Steelers will need him, considering the rash of injuries among their linebacking unit. James Harrison and James Farrior are also likely to miss the Sunday Night game, and Jason Worilds has been unable to play for the past four games.