Worley’s signing comes in wake of a brutal week for the Ravens’ secondary, who lost Chuck Clark, Jimmy Smith and Chris Westry before their December 19 matchup with the Green Bay Packers. All three players remain on the Reserve/COVID-19 list, and they were joined today by veteran outside linebackers Justin Houston and Pernell McPhee, as well as practice squad defensive back Kevin Toliver.
The Ravens were forced to rely heavily on veteran cornerback Kevon Seymour, who played a season-high 87 snaps after Tavon Young went down with a concussion. Baltimore ultimately gave up 268 passing yards and three touchdowns to Packers superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Though the Ravens could get Clark, Westry and Smith back for their Week 16 matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals, Young’s concussion forced them to seek extra secondary depth in case he can’t clear league concussion protocol before December 26.
Ravens Become Worley’s 8th NFL Team
Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic described Worley as “well-traveled,” an apt representation of a player who has previously been on seven different NFL teams in his six-year career.
Worley was originally selected by the Carolina Panthers in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft, showing plenty of promise as a rookie with 11 starts and 88 tackles. He posted a 68.1 overall defensive grade from Pro Football Focus during his rookie year, though he has never recorded a full-season grade over 65.0 in his following five seasons. Worley graded out particularly well as a run defender in Carolina, earning a run grade of at least 75.0 from PFF in each of his two seasons as a Panther.
The Panthers traded Worley to the Philadelphia Eagles after the 2017 season in exchange for ex-Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith, though legal troubles derailed his time in Philadelphia. He eventually landed with the then-Oakland Raiders, making 24 starts across 2018 and 2019, before stints with the Dallas Cowboys and Buffalo Bills, as well as a return to the Raiders, in 2020.
Worley played in three games for the Detroit Lions this season, including a two-snap appearance on special teams against the Ravens in Week 3. While he’s earned a solid 66.2 special teams grade from PFF this season, his defensive grade sits at a measly 25.6, with sub-30.0 grades in run defense, tackling and pass coverage.
In fact, Worley has missed three of his four tackle attempts this season, which is not an encouraging sign ahead of Baltimore’s upcoming matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals, who torched the Ravens in their first game this season.
Still, Worley has proven that he’s capable of making big plays, as evidenced by this one-handed interception as a Raider in 2019.
Ravens Work Out Ex-Dolphins 2nd-Rounder
The Ravens seem to have been decided between Worley and former Miami Dolphins second-round cornerback Jamar Taylor, as both players worked out for the Ravens on December 21.
Taylor was selected by the Dolphins with the 54th overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, though he has failed to live up to his draft day billing. He has 44 career starts under his belt between seven different NFL teams, making him a similar journeyman to Worley.
But Taylor hasn’t played this season after spending 2020 with the San Francisco 49ers, where he proved to be a reliable veteran with an 84.3 PFF run defense grade that ranked sixth among all cornerbacks.
As a result, the Ravens ultimately decided to go with Worley, who is five years younger than Taylor and has playing experience this season.