The New England Patriots worked out former Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman Chris Wormley, according to the NFL transaction page for Thursday.
Wormley has been an unrestricted free agent since his contract with the Steelers expired in March, but has also been recovering from the ACL surgery that ended his 2022 season with the Steelers.
The reliable defensive lineman also had a tryout with the New York Giants at the beginning part of the month, but he ended up not singing with them.
Wormley was injured in the Steelers’ home game against the Baltimore Ravens last December, when he went down with a non-contact knee injury. The injury ended Wormley’s season and cost him most of the offseason as well. On Instagram, Wormley expressed his gratitude for the support he received after the injury.
Following the surgery, Wormley was expected to miss somewhere between six to nine months with the injury.
Wormley was in the final year of his two-year contract with the Steelers, meaning that he also hit free agency with the injury looming over his head.
Prior to the injury, Chris Wormley racked up 29 tackles, a forced fumble, and 0.5 sacks on the season as a rotational player along the Steelers’ defensive line.
When the injury happened, Pittsburgh signed Jonathan Marshall to the 53-man roster to try to fill some snaps that Wormley left behind. Since then, they have added second-round draft pick Keeanu Benton and free agents Breiden Fehoko and Armon Watts to what has become a very strong and deep defensive line unit.
That depth, and the upcoming difficult cut-down at that position, makes it unlikely that the Steelers would be interested in having Wormley return at this time.
“I like the depth that we have on the defensive line,” defensive coordinator Teryl Austin said on Monday. “It’s been a great competition, and there’s going to be some tough decisions that have to be made. Because I think, at the end of the day, we may lose a guy that we know can play in the NFL.”
The Patriots have been attempting to add to their defensive line depth. They claimed defensive tackle Marquan McCall on waivers from the Carolina Panthers this week, but returned him after McCall failed a physical.
The 6-foot-5, 300-pound Wormley spent three seasons with the Baltimore Ravens before his two with the Steelers, and as a result is very familiar with odd-front defenses like New England’s 3-4 and 3-3-5.