LaMarr Woodley placed on IR

Updated: December 18, 2013, 9:15 AM ET
By Scott Brown | ESPN.com

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Steelers placed outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley on season-ending injured reserve Tuesday because of an injured right calf.

Woodley, the highest-paid defensive player in franchise history, missed three games earlier this season with a left calf strain. He strained his right calf early in the Steelers' 30-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday night.

Coach Mike Tomlin hinted earlier Tuesday that the team would put Woodley on IR.

Woodley has battled injuries since hurting his hamstring in 2011 during one of the most productive stretches of his career. Since signing a six-year, $61.5 million contract in 2011, he has missed 12 games because of hamstring and calf injuries as well as a high ankle sprain.

The seventh-year veteran is second on the Steelers with five sacks, and he moved to right outside linebacker two weeks ago to accommodate Jason Worilds at left outside linebacker.

Woodley is seventh on the Steelers' all-time sacks list with 57.

"He's been solid, not only this season but over the course of his career," Tomlin said Tuesday at his weekly news conference. "But obviously, particularly in recent years, he's had to battle some injuries, unfortunately for him and for us."

Jarvis Jones, the Steelers' first-round pick in the 2013 draft, will take over at right outside linebacker for Woodley.

Jones has just one sack this season, but he has received praise from defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau for the growth he has exhibited during his rookie season.

Tomlin echoed LeBeau's sentiments Tuesday.

"Although his numbers might not be jumping off the page at you, I really think [Jones] is settling in and playing harder and faster and displaying understanding at an increased rate every week," Tomlin said. "That's an element of playing well and producing plays."

In other injury news, defensive end Brett Keisel (foot) and nose tackle Steve McLendon (ankle) are expected to play Sunday at Lambeau Field.

Scott Brown

ESPN Pittsburgh Steelers reporter

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