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Making a late run at a starting job

Originally Published: January 8, 2010
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

Over the final five weeks of the 2009 regular season, the home-stretch period after Nov. 30, there were 40 individual 100-yard rushing performances in the NFL, and nearly half of them were turned in by running backs who began the year as backups.

That percentage (19 of the 40 games) is a bit high, but not especially unusual. Late in any season, when injuries pile up and dictate that backups move into starting roles, or those franchises eliminated from playoff contention audition ...

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