Don't count on Steelers outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley playing Thursday when the Steelers take on the Baltimore Ravens. The Steelers' leading pass rusher will likely miss his third consecutive game with a calf injury.
The Steelers are better with Woodley than without him, but Jason Worilds has played excellently in his place. He had six quarterback hits in Pittsburgh's 27-11 win over the Cleveland Browns in Week 12, and looks to keep up that torrid pace against the protection-adverse Ravens.
The Steelers had a season-high five sacks against the Browns, and the pressure generated throughout the game was outstanding. Some of that helped the Steelers force four takeaways, which was also a season high.
Nose tackle Steve McLendon was ruled out for the game previously, but it looks like Thursday will mark the returns of defensive end Brett Keisel and safety Shamarko Thomas. Keisel will likely start, like he was before his foot injury cost him the last two games.
Thomas may not see much time outside of special teams, considering the level of play the Steelers have been getting from Will Allen. With something of a modified sub package, the Steelers have been using Troy Polamalu as an inside linebacker, and inserting Allen in his safety position. Expect to see more of that Thursday.
Kickoff is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET from M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.
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