Jason Worilds Likely to Play LOLB if LaMarr Woodley is Sidelined


Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

"It’s Jarvis and Jason if LaMarr’s not in there. We will leave that to the medical people. As the week progresses, we will hope for the best and expect the worse. We will be able to play either way. We hope to get LaMarr back. He’s a great player for us.-Dick LeBeau (Steelers.com)"

As LeBeay stated above, the Steelers will have to start Jones and Worilds in the event Woodley is unable to suit up due to the calf injury he sustained last weekend. Woodley has missed Pittsburgh’s last two practices due to his calf, and how effective he can ultimately be for LeBeau and the rest of the unit if he does suit up is still an enormous question heading into Sunday.

If the former Michigan Wolverine is sidelined, then Jason Worilds will have to shift over from his starting right outside linebacker position to Woodley’s spot on the left. Thankfully for Pittsburgh’s defense, the left outside linebacker spot is at least familiar to the team’s 2010 second round pick.

For those of you who don’t remember, Worilds actually lined up at left outside linebacker as Woodley’s backup during the 2010-2012 seasons. In fact, due to Woodley’s hamstring and ankle injuries, Worilds started a combined 10 games between the 2011 and 2012 seasons in the veteran’s place.

Overall, the former Virginia Tech Hokie racked up a combined 58 tackles, 8.0 sacks, and one forced fumble during the last two seasons from the left outside linebacker spot.

With their most productive pass rusher hobbled (Woodley has 5.0 sacks), the Steelers will need to turn to Worilds to shift from his new spot to pick up the slack when it comes to pass rushing on the strong-side. Regardless of who plays where though, the outside linebackers will be counted on heavily this Sunday to generate pocket collapse against an offense which has surrendered the least amount of sacks so far this season (10).

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