Work of Jason Worilds 'hasn't gone unnoticed' by Mike Tomlin

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has noticed the tear LOLB Jason Worilds is on, and it may be outstanding enough to keep him in that spot even after LaMarr Woodley returns.

Jason Worilds has gone from substitute to superstar in three games.

While the regular starter at left outside linebacker, LaMarr Woodley, has missed the last three games due to a calf injury, Worilds has notched two sacks, four hurries, 12 quarterback hits and 18 tackles.

Those are freakish numbers.

Those are also not numbers you put on the bench, change positions or even sneeze at out of fear even the slightest molecular change will disrupt the rhythm in which they're currently settled.

Even Steelers coach Mike Tomlin made mention of the possibility Woodley, upon his return to the field, moves over to right outside linebacker - the position he didn't play at all in his career.

"The work we've gotten from Worilds, particularly on the left side of our defense, has been impressive and has not gone unnoticed by me," Tomlin said at his press conference Tuesday, as transcribed by Alan Robinson of the Tribune-Review.

In November, Worilds had 20 tackles, five sacks and a forced fumble.

Tomlin's acknowledgment of this streak aside, the real issue is when Woodley will return, regardless of which side of the quarterback he lines up. Getting another high-level pass rushed alongside the red-hot Worilds could be a huge boost in the the Steelers' efforts to become the first team in 21 years to make the playoffs after starting 0-4.

Defensive end Brett Keisel has already been ruled out for the Dolphins game. He played just a handful of snaps against Baltimore after missing two games before that. Worilds had two sacks against Baltimore, both in the first half, and was drawing two blockers on nearly all of his pass rushes after that.

Having a healthy Woodley opposite Worilds could overpower the pass-protection-adverse Dolphins.

The Steelers and Miami kick off at 1 p.m. ET Sunday.

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