The Indianapolis Colts weren’t the only team this week to be surprised by a sudden retirement. I’ll get to that one in a bit, but in the meantime, the Baltimore Ravens went out and signed an inside linebacker whom they probably believed would be able to start for them, only to see him retire literally the next day.
After bringing Paul Worrilow for a workout, the Ravens agreed to a contract with the six-year veteran. Originally undrafted in 2013 with the Atlanta Falcons, he would go on to start 52 games over the next five years, registering 415 tackles with four sacks, two interceptions, 11 passes defensed, and three forced fumbles.
After starting eight of 13 games for the Detroit Lions in 2017, he signed with the Philadelphia Eagles, but tore his ACL at the start of OTAs. In spite of the injury, the Eagles signed him to a one-year extension at the start of the 2019 season, only to release him on August 18, and he signed with the Ravens a few days later.
But he elected to retire, or at least postpone his career at this time, in order to be with his wife, who is eight months pregnant “and bedridden”, according to ESPN. There are not other reports of complications as Adam Podlesh’s wife dealt with several years ago with the Pittsburgh Steelers, however. Worrilow will re-evaluate his football future at a later time.
“He was all ready and excited to go, so I’m surprised”, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said after practice yesterday. “I assume he’s trying to work and figure some things out, what he wants to do, he and his family. Every person has the right to do that. So we’ll see what he decides. We’ll respect it, whatever it is”.
Following the loss of C.J. Mosley in free agency, the Ravens have failed to really adequately address the inside linebacker position. Patrick Onwuasor will inherit Mosley’s play-calling responsibilities, but the other starting position is expected to be manned by second-year players Chris Board, who is currently dealing with a concussion, and Kenny Young.
It’s possible that Worrilow will elect to resume his career in a couple of months after everything has started to settle down and he has his third child in the world, and presumably he would want to sign with the Ravens again.
By then, Baltimore should have a better feel for whether or not they have enough personnel on hand to adequately man those critical inside linebacker positions. Mosley was supposed to be a Raven for life, but as we know, it doesn’t always work out that way.