Cornerback Daryl Worley was allowed to participate in meetings and work out at the Raiders during his four-game suspension. That’s relatively new, following a rule change by the NFL.
Worley was grateful for that, and believes it helped prepare him for a return to game action against the L.A. Chargers.
Sunday were another story. The 23-year old would get up before a game day wake-up call, even when the Raiders were on the East Coast. The anticipation was too great to sleep, the frustration from being unable to help his struggling team was to prevalent to focus on anything else.
He sat around the house with his fiancé and young son, forced to watch games on television and live vicariously through his friends and teammates.
Worley admits to going stir crazy, and considering extreme measures to get back in the game.
“There was a time after Week 2, where I was thinking about calling the NFLPA and asking them if I could just play without pay,” Worley said on this week’s Raiders Insider Podcast. “I just wanted to play. It’s that feeling, that passion for the game and that pride you have about what you do. It’s so strong. You just want to go play.”
Worley wasn’t allowed, not even for free. Not while suspended for violating the NFL policies on substance abuse and personal conduct. Punitive action came after Worley pleaded guilty to DUI, resisting arrest and carrying a firearm in public relating to an April 15 incident were he was found passed out in a vehicle near the Philadelphia Eagles facility.
The Eagles released him the following day, roughly five weeks after he was surprisingly traded to the Super Bowl champs from Carolina. That was a big deal for Worley, a North Philadelphia native who grew up rooting for the hometown team.
That tenure didn’t last long, and was an unwelcome setback on his career arc. Worley believes it was part of a grand plan, something he can learn and grow from.
“The way I chalked everything up, no matter how the tenure may have started or ended, I always look at it as part of God’s plan,” Worley said. “He does everything for a reason, and I felt as though He brought me there maybe to experience something, including the trials and tribulations. And He also ended my time there for certain reasons.
“I’m just thankful to have gotten another opportunity out here in Oakland.”
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden granted Worley that second chance, knowing full well league discipline was likely. One the eve of the four-game suspension, Gruden vowed to stand by Worley, help him through a difficult time and give him an opportunity to get his career back on track.
Worley says he won’t forget that.
“The first phone call I got from anyone in the Oakland organization was Coach Gruden,” Worley said. “We talked, had a long conversation and built a great connection in a positive manner. I was happy, and felt the love coming out here.”