For a lot of reasons, 2020’s been a tough year for Chris Wormley. Getting traded during the offseason by the Baltimore Ravens to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Trying to navigate a new city, a new team, a new life in the middle of a pandemic. And over the last month, battling injuries that’s held him out of several training camp practices.
Speaking with reporters via Zoom, Wormley wouldn’t classify the injuries as setbacks but certainly challenges in getting ready for the season with a new team.
“I’m not going to sit here and lie to you and say it’s been easy,” Wormely told reporters via the team website. “There’s definitely been some challenges that have presented themselves. At the beginning of the season when I got traded, there were no face-to-face meetings for almost five months. That compounded with my injury at the beginning of camp. I wouldn’t call it a setback but it’s given me some challenges when it comes to especially the on-field reps and seeing where everyone fits and the chemistry between everyone and myself. It’s been a challenge, for sure.”
Wormley missed time at the start of training camp with a lower body injury. He briefly returned to practice but again was held out due to a shoulder problem. Wormley’s been in pads the last few practices, though held to just individual work in some of them, valuable time missed with already so much time lost since the spring.
Still, he declared himself ready to go for Week One when the Steelers travel to the Giants on Monday Night Football.
“I’d say by Game One in 11 days, I’ll be 100%. I’m working towards that. The training staff and the coaches have been great in allowing me to take my time when it comes to getting back on the field and figuring out the process of balancing getting back on the field and feeling comfortable. While maybe fighting through a little bit of pain to get those on-field reps.”
Wormley is important defensive line depth now that Tyson Alualu has shifted inside to likely take over nose tackle responsibilities. That could leave Wormley as first man off the bench as a defensive end when the team rotates out Stephon Tuitt or Cam Heyward. Getting healthy, on the field, and taking advantage of practice reps is critical in having him ready and comfortable in Pittsburgh’s scheme.
If Wormely isn’t available, the Steelers can turn to second-year end Isaiah Buggs, who played well in limited action as a rookie.