It\’s been a long road back for Pittsburgh Steelers second year linebacker Sean Spence, who continues to rehab his surgically repaired knee that he tore up last preseason, but the Miami product told the media upon his arrival to training camp on Friday that he hopes to be ready to play by the middle of the season.
Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported via Twitter on Friday that Spence said he will start the season on the Reserve PUP list which isn\’t surprising at all. Spence also let be known that Spence said he has been cutting more on his injured knee and said he has regained some of his speed, according to Fittipaldo.
When Spence is officially placed on the Reserve PUP list at the start of the regular season, it will mean that he can\’t play for the first six weeks of the 2013 season. At the end of that first six weeks, a three week window will open for Spence and he must begin practicing during those three weeks if he is to play at all in 2013.
Once Spence begins practicing, another three week window will then open and the Steelers must place him on the 53 man roster or on their injured reserve list by the end of that three week window.
Spence predicted during the Steelers offseason practices that he would indeed play in 2013. The damage that he did to his peroneal nerve, however, will make it tough.
During the 2013 NFL Draft, Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler said that it would be a miracle if Spence ever played again, but head coach Mike Tomlin had a much more optimistic outlook later on in the offseason.
“I did hear the opinion regarding Spence,” Tomlin said back in May. “My opinion differs. I think he’s going to have a full recovery, but now you have two opinions, neither of which are expert medical opinions. Do with it what you wish.”
I think it is safe to say that our wish is that Spence can indeed make it back this year.