After sitting out the entire 2012 season, it is still uncertain when Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Sean Spence will return to action. Spence tore multiple ligaments in his left knee during Pittsburgh’s 2012 preseason finale versus the Carolina Panthers.
Steelers’ linebackers coach Keith Butler said last week that it would be “miraculous” if Spence can return to play for the 2014 season. Yesterday, head coach Mike Tomlin had a difference of opinion. Tomlin stated that Spence’s recovery “is going according to plan.” Furthermore, Tomlin said that he disagrees with Butler, and that Spence will totally recover from his injury.
The third-round pick out of Miami (FL) from last year’s draft was brought in to add some much-needed depth to the Steelers’ corps of linebackers. Pittsburgh did the same this year by selecting Vince Williams in the sixth round. Not only does Williams add depth to this year’s roster, but he also can be looked upon as an insurance policy in the event that Spence’s injury is career-ending.
The Steelers are going to keep Spence on for the 2013 season and place him on the injured reserve list in hopes that he can be ready in 2014.
No one has heard any official word from team doctors regarding Spence’s health. All we know is what Butler and Tomlin have said regarding his rehabilitation. Given the information from both parties, it’s safe to say that no one will know anything probably no later than the 2014 season.
Neither Butler nor Tomlin are doctors, so any opinion from them, or anyone else that isn’t a doctor, shouldn’t be taken seriously regarding Spence’s knee. I must say, it is somewhat entertaining hearing two coaches from the same team having a difference of opinion about something of which they have no professional expertise.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller, or add him to your network on Google