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Chandler Wooten Doing What He Can To Make NFL Impression

Undrafted linebacker hopes he can find a place in the league

Linebacker Chandler Wooten celebrates his interception against the Ravens Sunday night.
Linebacker Chandler Wooten celebrates his interception against the Ravens Sunday night.

Down two touchdowns midway through the fourth quarter, Chandler Wooten dropped into coverage.

Seconds later, the linebacker stamped a solid performance with his first career interception.

Wooten didn't just revive a team needing a spark; he started a near-comeback victory to potentially end the Ravens' impressive preseason streak. Despite the team loss, Sunday is a win for Wooten.

"It happened so fast and was a big play in the game," Wooten said. "We wanted to end the streak and had a chance to win it there at the end, just came up short."

"He just continues to improve," coach Kliff Kingsbury added. "He acts like a pro, and he's prepared like a pro since he's gotten here," the head coach said. "He continues to flash, so that was good to see."

Wooten doesn't have the luxury of resting during the preseason like quarterback Kyler Murray and wideout DeAndre Hopkins; only guaranteed starters receive that perk.

The undrafted free agent signee must perform during the NFL do-or-die period, but the pressure doesn't get to him. He believes staying cool, calm, and collected is important because his position requires everyone to feed off him.

Wooten said the daily grind of training camp was challenging, but he learned some things about himself.

"Just that I belong and can compete with everyone here," Wooten said. "Just that reassurance and confidence goes a long way. The more reps you get, the more confidence you get, and the better you feel. I take it one day at a time."

As a fourth-stringer on the depth chart, Wooten faces an uphill battle to make the final roster. He's fighting for his future and the chance to take care of his family.

He doesn't know how things will play out, but he's controlling what he can control. His next test comes when the team heads to Tennessee with a joint practice with the Titans.

"My son is all the motivation I need," Wooten said. "I had him in 2020. He'll be 2 in November. Him and his mom are my why's. I do it for them and can't have a bad or off day because they have to eat. That pushes me to keep going and never stop."