In 2021, Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Chris Wormley enjoyed a breakout season that included seven sacks, 51 tackles, and 10 quarterback hits.
Coming into the 2022 season, expectations were high for Wormley following the official retirement of defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt. By all impressions, he was potentially seen as the team's next breakout star on defense. Over a year later, Wormley's future with the team is seemingly in doubt following a disappointing season that ended in a torn ACL, which he sustained in Week 14 against the Baltimore Ravens. As it stands, he is currently a free agent.
Despite a drop in production prior to his injury, Wormley, for the most part, proved to be a valuable pass rusher at times this season. In their Week 14 loss, Wormley finished with the team's highest overall grade of 90.7, according to Pro Football Focus, after registering three tackles, a quarterback hit, and a forced fumble.
Yet, for a defensive unit that finished 27th in run-stop win rate, Wormley was often a liability in these situations. Considering the emergence of both Larry Ogunjobi and rookie DeMarvin Leal, his value as a run stopper took a major hit during the course of the season.
If the team decides to make additions through free agency or the NFL Draft this offseason, it could mark the end of Wormley's time in Pittsburgh. With ACL rehab presenting another obstacle to overcome, preserving his NFL career in general is likely a greater priority. With experience on his side, one should not be surprised if he somehow finds his way back.