Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers Need to Shut Down LaMarr Woodley For Rest of 2013


“Shut him down.”


Those were the only words I uttered after outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley exited last night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals with a calf injury. It was really a sad turn of events for the outside linebacker, especially since he missed most of the month of November due to issues with his other calf.

For those of you who have not noticed, Woodley has missed 12 regular season games during the three years since he signed his massive contract extension. Due to the multitude of injuries he has sustained and his constant battle with weight issues, the former Michigan Wolverine has been a non-factor for much of the 2011, 2012 and 2013 seasons.

With his injuries and lack of productivity in mind (115 tackles, 18.0 sacks, three fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles and two interceptions), I for one would love to see the Steelers shut down their outside linebacker for the rest of the 2013 campaign.

At 6-8 and essentially out of postseason contention, it might benefit the Steelers to shut down Woodley until the 2014 regular season begins. I for one am not sure what handing out extended reps to a hobbled Woodley would accomplish down the stretch for Pittsburgh, especially since Jason Worilds and Jones have made strides in recent weeks

Worilds has been a force at left outside linebacker and has established himself as the team’s most effective pass rusher. To his credit, the rookie Jones has improved on a weekly basis out on the right side since he was inserted back into the starting lineup back in Week 11. Shutting the veteran down would allow both youngsters to make the most out of their extended reps. Plus, it would also allow Woodley to start his offseason early and prevent him from further injuring himself.

While shelving Woodley would only leave the Steelers with three healthy outside linebackers (Jones, Worilds and Chris Carter) to dress on game days, Pittsburgh only has two regular season contests left to play this year. Moreover, I would rather see the team dress a player at a positional unit with much more need of depth (defensive line) than a constantly banged-up outside linebacker.

Regardless of what transpires, I will be interested to see what the Steelers’ brass decide to do with their highest-paid defensive player during the last two weeks of the regular season.





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Tags: Jarvis Jones Jason Worilds Lamarr Woodley Mike Tomlin Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Chris Maxwell

    You normally write good stuff, but that doesn’t make any sense. What about releasing that overpriced under performing OLB. Get paid and laughing to the bank, has to make the Rooneys feel good.

    • Dom DiTolla

      Will be very difficult to release Woodley if they aren’t willing to take on the dead money. Plus, only three outside linebackers on the roster next fall, and that is if they can ink Worilds during the offseason.

      Playing Woodley now however makes no sense. Risking further injury to a guy who has been a ghost since October is a lose-lose situation. Plus, Jones can use the extra reps to his advantage.

  • Chris Maxwell

    What is lost in all of this is that regardless of the salary cap, the Rooneys are still smart business men and might want a return on its investment. So instead of saving on the cap he might want to save on the amount of cash going down the drain.

    • Dom DiTolla

      I would love nothing more than to see Woodley released. Hell, I was one of the few who thought extending him back in 2011 was utterly moronic. I just hope that if they do that they can set enough cap space aside for Worilds and draft a developmental OLB to keep behind him, Jones, and Chris Carter (a 2015 UDFA).

      If Omar Khan can work out something along those lines, then I’d be stoked.

  • PJ_CA

    How about they just cut Woodley, he has been mediocre at best since getting paid. Get rid of him and move on with Jones and Worlids. Do we really need a JaMarcus Russell type at outside LB? QQuit wasting money on him and move on

  • Redd Mahoney

    I still say try and move his big behind inside next season. Who else would they have on the roster that could be THAT much better playing next to Timmons?

    • Dom DiTolla

      Why would they move that injury-prone lardass to a position in which he could be mercilessly exploited in pass-coverage and is too slow to hit and fill gaps against the run?

      They need to keep developing Williams, Garvin and hopefully a high-round rookie next to Timmons, not move that over-paid joke to a position he has never played before and is ill-equipped from an athletic standpoint to man at 30 years of age.