Now that Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Sean Spence has addressed the media about the rehab progress of his surgically repaired left knee, I wanted to give everyone a best-case scenario for him as it relates to a return to the field in 2013. Basically, these are deadlines for him to meet if he is to play this upcoming season.
Unless Spence is much further along than I think he is, he will most likely not practice at all during the offseason and will thus start training camp on the Active PUP list. Even then, I still don\'t think we\'ll see him practice or play before the start of the regular season, and that will result in him being placed on the Reserve PUP list come the start of the regular season. Once he is placed on the Reserve PUP list, Spence won\'t be allowed to practice with the team for the first six weeks of the regular season.
Come Week 7 of the regular season, a three-week window will open for Spence during which he can return to practice while not counting against the Steelers 53 man roster. In order for him to play in 2013, he must begin practicing during those three weeks. If he is unable to, he must be placed on injured reserve by the end of that third week.
Should Spence indeed wind up being able to practice during that three-week window, a second three-week window will then open for him once he begins practicing. By the end of that third week, the Steelers will have had to either placed him on their 53 man roster or on their injured reserve list.
Being as Week 9 is the real deadline for Spence to begin practicing with the team, that would mean he basically has five more months of time to recover from right now.