The Pittsburgh Steelers are now training camp, following the most unique offseason in the NFL since at least World War II. While it didn’t involve a player lockout, teams still did not have physical access to their players, though they were at least able to meet with them virtually.
Even training camp will look much different from the norm, and a big part of that will be the fact that there will be no games along the way to prepare for. There will be no preseason played in 2020, so the first time the Steelers take the field in 2020 will be for the season opener against the New York Giants.
Before we get there, however, there are a number of issues that are outstanding on this team, and this year’s edition of training camp will not provide the level of thoroughness that teams are normally used to in trying to answer those questions.
Questions like, what is the starting offensive line going to look like? Will it include Zach Banner or Chukwuma Okorafor? Who will be the primary nose tackle? How will Ben Roethlisberger look—and the other quarterbacks as well? Now, we even have questions about whether or not players will be in quarantine.
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: How soon will Chris Wormley return to full participation in practice, and how much concern should there be about the time he has missed?
For the past few days, going back since at least late last week, fourth-year defensive end Chris Wormley had not been participating in practices for the Steelers, who acquired him via trade in March, until yesterday, during which he was reportedly limited. He is presumably expected to take over the number three defensive end job with Tyson Alualu playing more nose tackle this year, but he has had little opportunity to get the on-field work in.
We don’t know how long he had been sidelined with what has been described as a minor injury, but it’s been since at least Friday. Perhaps, with an evident off day today, they wanted to give him just a bit more time to rest up, and he will resume full participation in practice with the team when they take the field again.
Even though he is a veteran with around 1000 defensive snaps played under his belt, Wormley has acknowledged earlier this offseason that there are adjustments to moving into the Steelers’ system that he is working on, and that a part of him wished there was a preseason this year because of that.
Anybody coming to a new team this year, no matter their veteran status, is facing an extra hurdle because of the limitations imposed by the pandemic, and that includes Wormley. Will he be ready to contribute at a high level by the season opener?