CANTON, Ohio — Football saved Curtis Martin. His mother forced him to play so he’d stay out of trouble while growing up in a tough Pittsburgh neighborhood.
He not only survived, but thrived.
The running back was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night, the only ‘‘skill position’’ player in a group of six. Linemen Dermontti Dawson, Chris Doleman, Cortez Kennedy and Willie Roaf and cornerback Jack Butler joined him.
Martin started 119 consecutive games with the Patriots and Jets, ending his career as the league’s fourth all-time rusher. He joined Barry Sanders as the only runners to start their careers with 10 consecutive 1,000-yard seasons.
Martin had former coach Bill Parcells introduce him Saturday. Martin followed Parcells from New England to the Jets.