|Steelers' outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley says the current hamstring issue he's dealing with is nothing like the one that sidelined him for a good portion of last season. (US Presswire)|
Different leg, different injury ... much different level of severity.
For the Steelers, that's a major relief when it comes to OLB LaMarr Woodley's hamstring injury. Woodley said Wednesday that the injury he sustained 10 days prior in a win over the Philadelphia Eagles shares nothing in common with the one he had last season -- other than the fact both affected a hamstring.
Woodley missed six of the final eight regular-season games last season and was severely limited in the two he did play and in a playoff loss at Denver. But the hamstring that was ailing him last week already has cleared to the point that Woodley is going "full speed" at practice this week and will play Sunday night at Cincinnati.
"It wasn't even the same leg, it wasn't the same hamstring and it wasn't as serious as it was last year that put me out for two months," Woodley said. "This one put me out for a week.
"When I hurt my hamstring this year, I knew it wasn't anything near what I did last year in the Eagles game. As soon as I did it, I said, 'Oh yeah, this is not like the hamstring from last year,' so I already knew I wasn't going to be out that long. Once I got the MRI, it confirmed what I thought."
Woodley's return (he's not even on the injury report) means that the Steelers finally have their two feared pass-rushing outside linebackers at full strength for the first time in almost 13 months. It's been since Week 3 of last season since both Woodley and OLB James Harrison started and finished a game together, healthy and playing a full allotment of snaps.
"You always want to have all the guys healthy, but when a guy is down you expect other people to step up," Woodley said. "It shouldn't matter who is in there in order for us to play Steelers' football."
OLB Chris Carter and OLB Jason Worilds had filled in for Woodley and Harrison this season. At times last season, LB Lawrence Timmons was moved from the inside to the outside to sub for one of those two.
Follow Steelers reporter Chris Adamski on Twitter @CBSSteelers and @BuzzsawPGH.