Before NFL training camps got underway this year, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Sean Spence expressed his chances of possibly making a return to the football field in 2013. Spence, the Steelers’ 2012 third-round draft pick, didn’t get a chance to play in the regular season as a rookie due to a horrific knee injury sustained in the final preseason game of 2012.
Spence tore both his ACL and LCL, dislocated his kneecap and suffered major nerve damage. The harm done to his nerve is what could possibly keep him from playing football ever again.
The University of Miami (FL) product told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in May of this year that he would do everything that he could to play for the Steelers.
“I know a lot of people have not been able to come back after damage like that, but I’m going to see if I can be one of the only ones,” Spence said. “Actually, I know that I’m going to beat the odds. I’m not really worried about that.”
That same confidence was shared by head coach Mike Tomlin as well. However, Pittsburgh’s linebackers coach Keith Butler didn’t agree. Butler said that it would be “miraculous” if Spence could come back and play in 2013.
Well, we will soon see if this astounding feat can become a reality. This week, Spence suited up for practice for the first time after being taken off the physically unable to perform list. The Steelers will observe him for the next three weeks and make a decision on whether to add Spence to the 53-man roster, or to place him on injured reserve.
It would be great if Spence could come back for the remainder of this season. Pittsburgh has had some trouble at the inside linebacker position for the most part of the season thus far. Veteran Larry Foote suffered a season-ending injury in Week 1, leaving a void that was filled by rookie Vince Williams and Kion Wilson (who was released last week).
Pittsburgh brought back linebacker Sylvester Stevenson after releasing Wilson, but adding Spence to the mix will greatly help the Steelers’ depth at linebacker. Personally, I hope that Spence can make a comeback this season. If he can live up to his third-round draft billing, then he could be a great piece of the puzzle for Pittsburgh’s corps of linebackers and could possibly be one of the best units in the league.
Clyde A. Speller is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ClydeASpeller, or add him to your network on Google+