The Pittsburgh Steelers placed linebacker LaMarr Woodley on injured reserve, the team announced Tuesday. Woodley sustained a calf injury against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. It's the second calf injury he suffered this year, having previously missed three games with a similar injury earlier in the season.
Woodley is a starter, and despite his missed time, is second on the team with 5.0 sacks. Unfortunately, Woodley's production has been overshadowed by his injuries in recent seasons. He's played in just 34 games over the past three seasons, having been slowed by hamstring and ankle injuries in the past.
To take Woodley's spot on the roster, the team signed linebacker Jamaal Westerman. He was released by the Bills on Dec. 10, and was an undrafted free agent in 2009. He's spent time with the Miami Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts and New York Jets in addition to the Bills.
Woodley is scheduled to earn $8 million in 2014, with a cap hit of over $13 million. Releasing him would incur cap penalties, whether he is a June 1 release or not. The difference is whether or not the penalty occurs in 2014 or 2015. Jason Worilds, another outside linebacker, is set to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, so the team has some decisions to make in the coming months.