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Davenport in action against the Ravens in 2006
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|Date of birth:February 8, 1979|
|Place of birth: Raleigh, North Carolina|
|College: Miami (Fla.)|
|NFL Draft: 2002 / Round: 4 / Pick: 135|
|Debuted in 2002 for the Green Bay Packers|
|Last played in 2008 for the Indianapolis Colts|
Career NFL statistics
Najeh Trenadious Monté Davenport (born February 8, 1979) is a former American football running back in the National Football League. He was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the fourth round of the 2002 NFL Draft. He played college football at the University of Miami.
Davenport attended the University of Miami, where he played primarily as a halfback. Chosen as the offensive captain, he won a NCAA Division I-A national football championship as a member of the Hurricanes in 2001. He was chosen by the Packers in the fourth round of the 2002 NFL Draft with the 135th overall pick. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in theatre with a minor in education.
Green Bay Packers
Since entering the NFL, Davenport has struggled with fumbles and with injuries that have kept him off the playing field. Davenport's abilities exceed a fourth-round selection, but to the accord of many scout's predictions, Davenport has been plagued by injuries throughout his career. In his rookie campaign, Davenport rushed for a respectable 4.7 yards per carry average before fracturing his left eye socket.
In 2003, injuries were minimal and he rushed for 5.45 yards per carry, good for the second highest in the NFL, and 30.1 yards per kick return. However, in 2004, Davenport started the season with a lingering hamstring injury that kept him out of for a month. On November 29, 2004, Davenport, in his first NFL start, rushed for 178 yards, third highest debut start yardage in the NFL for the past 20 years. Later that year, Davenport broke his ribs, resulting in playing at far less than 100 percent.
In 2005, after starting running back Ahman Green went down with a quadriceps injury, Davenport took over as starter. In what would be his only start of the season, versus the New Orleans Saints, Davenport scored two first-half touchdowns before breaking his ankle. He was subsequently placed on injured reserve, effectively ending his season.
Davenport was released by the Packers on September 2, 2006, when NFL rosters were reduced to 53 players. Six days later, on September 8, 2006, however, Davenport was signed to the roster of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He finished the season with a total of 221 rushing yards.
After the Steelers signed veteran running back Kevan Barlow, Davenport was facing competition with Barlow for the second and third string positions. However, Barlow was cut during training camp, and Davenport assumed the second-string responsibilities for Pittsburgh's opener against Cleveland. Davenport rushed for 43 yards on 8 carries in the Steelers's 34–7 win.
Arguably his best game with the Steelers came on Thursday, December 20, 2007, against the St. Louis Rams. Davenport had 24 carries for 123 yards and a touchdown, as well as two catches for 44 yards and another touchdown. Davenport replaced Willie Parker, who broke his fibula in the first quarter.
The Steelers released Davenport on June 28, 2008. He was re-signed on September 30 following injuries to Willie Parker, Rashard Mendenhall and Carey Davis. The Steelers released him again on November 8, only to re-sign him on November 27 due to the injury to Parker. Davenport was released once more on December 2.
Davenport was signed by the Indianapolis Colts on December 9, 2008. In two games with the Colts, he rushed eight times for 26 yards and caught four passes for 54 yards. He was released on January 3, 2009, after the team elevated offensive tackle Michael Toudouze from the practice squad.
Burglary and criminal mischief charge
Prior to entering the NFL, Davenport allegedly broke into the dorm room of a Barry University woman and defecated in a laundry basket on April 1, 2002. A woman sleeping in the room told police she was startled by a strange grunting sound and saw Davenport squatting in her closet. In a plea bargain, his felony charge of second-degree burglary and misdemeanor count of criminal mischief were dropped in exchange for his completing 100 hours of community service. Davenport maintained his innocence after the hearing, and began yelling outside of the courthouse, "Where's the evidence? Where's the manure? I know I didn't do it – I just wanted to get it over with."
During his career, Davenport was given the nicknames "Dookie" and "The Dump Truck." While playing for the Packers, a letter writing campaign to the team equipment manager jokingly asked that he be issued jersey number 2 for practice, which is still referenced during the opening of the "D-List" show on WAUK ESPN 540 in Milwaukee. All are plays on the incident.
Alleged domestic violence
Davenport was charged in Cleveland with domestic violence, child endangering, and unlawful restraint in an October 2007 incident involving the mother of his five-year-old son. He entered a plea of not guilty days later and the case went to trial on April 4, 2008. After a four-day trial, an eight-member jury spent three and a half hours deliberating before finding Davenport not guilty of all counts.
- Dulac, Gerry (2008-06-29). "Steelers release Davenport, three others". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2008-07-01.
- Bouchette, Ed; Gerry Dulac (2008-09-30). "Steelers sign Davenport, likely to add Russell". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2008-09-30.
- Pittsburgh Steelers transactions
- Dookie lands in Indy
- Much ado about Pigskin Poo
- "Davenport agrees to community service". The Associated Press. October 29, 2002
- "Davenport agrees to community service". CNN.
- "Najeh Davenport". USA Today. December 1, 2008. Retrieved January 16, 2009.
- Gallo, DJ (October 16, 2006). "Time to put fantasy into trades". ESPN.com. Retrieved April 7, 2008.
- Caniglia, John (April 4, 2008). "Steelers running back on trial in Cleveland". The Plain Dealer.
- Finder, Chuck (April 10, 2008). "Steelers' Davenport is not guilty on 3 charges". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.