PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley has been sidelined by another nagging injury.
Woodley left Sunday night's game in the first quarter after re-aggravating a right calf injury, and he is unlikely to return.
Woodley gave way to Jarvis Jones at right outside linebacker after the first possession of the game, and his latest injury casts more doubt about his future in Pittsburgh. Woodley had already been supplanted at left outside linebacker by Jason Worilds, and the highest-paid defensive player in Steelers history has not been the same player since injury his hamstring in a 2011 game against the Patriots.
Woodley will still have three years left after this season on the six-year, $61 million deal he signed in 2011 but the Steelers could release him and sign Worilds to a long-term contract.
Worilds will be an unrestricted free agent after this season and the Steelers probably won’t be able to keep both the fourth-year veteran and Woodley.
Worilds has emerged this season and played especially well at left outside linebacker since a Woodley calf injury provided an opening there. Worilds leads the Steelers with seven sacks and is tied with defensive end Cameron Heyward for the team lead in quarterback pressures (25).
Woodley, who moved to right outside linebacker last week to accomodate Worilds, has five sacks but hasn’t recorded a quarterback takedown in almost two months.