When the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted linebacker Sean Spence in the third round of the 2012 NFL draft, most fans and pundits considered it a great value pick. Spence, while a little undersized, is an incredibly athletic linebacker with a great nose for the football and tons of upside. It seemed that one of the inside linebacker spots in the Steelers 3-4 defense was to be in good hands for a long time.
And then, in the 2012 preseason, tragedy struck.
Spence suffered what was one of the most gruesome knee injuries I have ever seen. He tore multiple knee ligaments, and dislocated his kneecap. I considered posting video of the injury here, but it still gives me goosebumps. Go find it if you care to re-live it. I do not.
The Steelers were very quiet about Spence’s injury during the entirety of the of the 2012 season. So now as we are fully into the off-season and the Steelers are starting to make plans for the 2013 season, the question must be asked.
Will Spence be ready to play in 2013?
If you go off of a Tweet by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writer Ed Bouchette, things don’t sound good. Bouchette Tweeted the following.
— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) February 19, 2013
I understand that the Steelers have to look at this from a business point of view, so they have to handle Spence’s situation that way. But on a personal level, I hope this young man is able to make a full recovery and salvage his career on some level, whether it’s in Pittsburgh or somewhere else. The depth at inside linebacker for the Steelers coming up this season is poor. If it’s true Spence is not going to be able to play this year, the Steelers must address inside linebacker either via the draft, or seriously in free agency.