Steelers release backup running back Davenport

PITTSBURGH -- Najeh Davenport was released Saturday by the Pittsburgh Steelers, five weeks after they brought back their former top backup running back following a number of injuries.

Davenport, the Steelers' starter during their wild-card playoff loss to Jacksonville in January, was let go even though starter Willie Parker is not expected to play Sunday against Indianapolis because of a sore shoulder.

Davenport's roster spot was taken by linebacker Donovan Woods, who was taken off the 53-man roster last month but was added to the practice squad. Woods has played on special teams in four games this season.

Davenport, a former Packers player, spent the 2006 and 2007 seasons with Pittsburgh but was released in June. He was re-signed last month after Parker injured a knee, first-round draft pick Rashard Mendenhall was lost for the season with a shoulder injury and fullback Carey Davis sprained an ankle.

In two-plus seasons with Pittsburgh, Davenport ran for 768 yards, seven touchdowns and a 4.3 yards per carry average. He also had three touchdowns on pass receptions.