On Tuesday the Pittsburgh Steelers activated linebackers James Harrison and Jason Worilds from the PUP list, and while we pretty much knew what the hold up with Harrison was, we didn\’t so much with Worilds.
Worilds had offseason surgery to repair a wrist injury that suffered last season. While it wasn\’t a huge shock that he started training camp on the PUP list, it was pretty surprising that he stayed on it throughout training camp and three preseason games. Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review even reported that Worilds was a bit miffed as to what was taking so long for him to return to action. Were the doctors just being extra cautious with him?
Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette writes Wednesday morning that Worilds is still unable to hinge his wrist to take on blockers and that he will have to wear a brace on it when he returns. Linebackers coach Keith Butler stated way back in June that the injury that Worilds suffered takes some time to heal and that the former second round draft pick should have a full range of mobility of the wrist when the healing is done. Butler talks from experience as he had the same injury himself back when he played except he had his fused surgically. The procedure is reportedly different now as they reconstructed the ligament in the wrist of Worilds according to Butler.
Worilds will not play Thursday night against the Carolina Panthers in the Steelers preseason finale, but will resume practicing with the team on Monday. Butler said several weeks ago how important it is for the third year linebacker to start getting reps, so at least he will be back on the field doing that in some capacity.
While Worilds might not be ready play extensively on the defensive side ball in the opener at Denver, outside of an emergency situation, hopefully he is at least able to play on special teams. Morrty Ivy was playing that role on the punt team throughout the preseason, but he had to be waived injured with a hamstring injury suffered last Saturday. With Stevenson Sylvester expected to be sidelined for the opener with his knee injury, Chris Carter, Sean Spence and Brandon Johnson will likely have to fill in the roles on all of the special team units until Worilds can contribute there.
Regardless, at least Worilds is back active again and the Steelers will likely need him to contribute more this season in an effort to keep Harrison as fresh as possible. It was looking like Worilds was going to start the season on the PUP list, but at least that question was answered on Tuesday and the mystery has been solved.