Darius Walker has gone from unwanted to a featured NFL running back. It's definitely been a down-and-up rookie season for the former Buford star.
Making his second start, Walker had his most productive game Sunday in the Houston Texans' 38-15 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.
Walker rushed 19 times for 66 yards and had six receptions for 44 yards. That added up to his first game of 100 yards or more.
Undrafted despite a standout three-year career at Notre Dame and then cut by both the Chicago Bears and Texans in the preseason, Walker is making the most of his belated opportunity.
Walker was elevated from the practice squad because of Ahmad Green's knee problems and then became a starter two weeks ago when Ron Dayne also went down.
In three games, Walker has 178 yards on 48 carries and has caught 13 passes for 61 yards.
Another undrafted rookie from Gwinnett County is also having a late-season impact.
Brookwood's Stephon Heyer, who played at Maryland, has started the past three games at right tackle for Washington and the Redskins have won them all to stay alive in the NFC playoff race.
Sunday night's 32-21 victory at Minnesota left the Redskins and Vikings tied for the final spots with 8-7 records, but Washington has the tie-breaker. The Redskins can clinch with a victory over Dallas in the season finale next Sunday.
It was a disappointing Week 16 for former Parkview and Georgia standout Jon Stinchcomb, New Orleans' starting right tackle. The Saints, who made the NFC Championship Game last season, were eliminated from playoff contention with a 38-23 loss to Philadelphia.
Seattle is the only NFL team with a player from Gwinnett County who has clinched a playoff berth. But tackle Mansfield Wrotto, who played with Heyer at Brookwood and was a third-round draft choice out of Georgia Tech, has not been active for any games so far this season.
The Seahawks, who visit Atlanta to play the Falcons next Sunday, are NFC West champions.
SideBar: Gwinnett NFL players
Week 16 update on NFL players from Gwinnett County:
Jeff Backus, OT, Lions (Norcross)
Started 110th straight game in 25-20 win over Chargers
Jason Elam, PK, Broncos (Brookwood)
Denver played at San Diego on Monday night
David Greene, QB, Chiefs (South Gwinnett)
Spent third week on practice squad
Stephon Heyer, OT, Redskins (Brookwood)
Got fourth start in 32-21 victory over Vikings
David Irons, CB, Falcons (Dacula)
Played on special teams in 30-27 loss to Cardinals
Jon Stinchcomb, OT, Saints (Parkview)
Started in 38-23 elimination loss to Eagles
Darius Walker, RB, Texans (Buford)
110 total yards in 38-15 loss to Colts
Mansfield Wrotto, OG, Seahawks (Brookwood)
Inactive for 27-6 victory over Ravens