While Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley has been sidelined the last three games with a calf injury, backup Jason Worilds has filled in admirable in his absence. With the slight chance that Woodley might be back this Sunday against the Miami Dolphins, head coach Mike Tomlin was asked indirectly during his Tuesday press conference what type of rotation he would use if Woodley does indeed play.
“That’s to be determined, not only on whether or not Woodley is ready, but his level of readiness,” said Tomlin. “I acknowledge the work that we’ve gotten from Worilds, particularly on the left side of our defense, has been impressive and has not gone unnoticed by me.”
While he’s been sidelined, Woodley has said that he would be open to playing on the right side if that is what is deemed best for the team. Tomlin was asked Tuesday if that indeed is a possibility.
“It’s definitely something to consider given Jason’s prominence since he’s been down, certainly,” said Tomlin. “But, I’m not ready to make that determination at this time and obviously, Woodley’s health and availability is the chief element of that decision and the decision making process.”
Tomlin said Woodley worked partially on Monday and that he expects him to do the same on Wednesday, so right now there’s no guarantee that he’ll be play this week. If he is ready, however, you would have to think that he’d would eased back into action as some sort of rotation and perhaps that rotation will include him, Worilds and Jarvis Jones all being on the field at the same time on obvious passing downs. This was done on occasion before Woodley went down injured and Jones seemed to be comfortable and effective rushing from the inside when given the opportunity.
On Sunday, Dolphins right tackle Tyson Clabo will be ripe for the picking as he has allowed 10 sacks, nine quarterback hits and 26 hurries in 470 pass blocking opportunities this season. The way that Worilds is playing right now, you would think he will be given every opportunity to add to his three game hot streak of rushing the passer.