Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Jason Worilds has had an unlucky start to the 2014 offseason as the fifth-year Virginia Tech product hasn’t been able to practice since the very first OTA practice last because of some sort of leg ailment.
While the Steelers are not obligated to give injury report updates, one can only speculate as to what kind of injury that Worilds is currently trying to work through. According to Jim Wexell of Steel City Insider, however, Worilds worked Tuesday on the side without any noticeable limitations and head coach Mike Tomlin told the reporter that he expects his starting linebacker back soon.
Offseasons and training camps haven’t been overly kind to Worilds so far during his career. As a rookie in 2010, Worilds battled a hamstring problem during training camp and it forced him to miss the preseason opener as a result. While he wound up dressing for 14 regular-season games in 2010, he did miss two games that year because of a shoulder and knee injury.
In 2011, Worilds appeared to get through training camp without any major problems, but once the regular-season rolled around, he missed four straight games with a quadriceps injury.
In 2012, Worilds missed all of the OTA and training camp practices in addition to all four preseason games due to him having offseason wrist surgery. Fortunately, he was able to suit up for all 16 games that season of which he started three of them.
Last season was perhaps the healthiest that Worilds has been in his four years in Pittsburgh. He played in 15 games and was only held out of the regular season finale against the Cleveland Browns with an abdominal injury. Odds are pretty good that he probably would have played in that game had it meant something.
It’s way too early in the offseason to worry about Worilds as it relates to his health in 2014. This biggest thing at this point is just making sure he’s fully healthy for the start of training camp.
Due to their lack of depth currently at the outside linebacker position, the Steelers can’t afford to have whatever is currently ailing Worilds right now, linger. It’s better for him to miss time now instead of later. Besides, backups Chris Carter and Arthur Moats could certainly use the extra reps.