Report: Steelers LB Sean Spence Expects To Play In 2013

While many of us are already resigned to fact that Pittsburgh Steelers second-year linebacker Sean Spence will not play in 2013 because of the serious knee injury that he suffered last year during the preseason, the Miami product let be known on Wednesday that we shouldn\’t be ruling him out just yet.

According to Will Graves of the Associated Press on Twitter, Spence told reporters Wednesday that he expects to play in 2013 and that his surgically repaired left knee is on the way back.

“My plan is to make it back for the season,” said Spence. I\’m still preparing and attacking these OTAs like I\’m going to play this year. I probably will take things slow, but I have trust myself in doing what I know I can do. And if I think I can go, I\’ll go.”

Spence reportedly suffered enough damage to the peroneal nerve in his left knee last year in the exhibition game against the Carolina Panthers that linebackers coach Keith Butler went as far as to say during the draft that he didn\’t think the Steelers 2012 third-round draft pick would play at all this year.

“It will be miraculous if he does come back,” said Butler back in late April. “It will be miraculous if he comes back next year. We are going to take a chance on him and see if he can come back. To me, he is worth every bit of that.”

However, since Butler made his comments about Spence\’s future, both head coach Mike Tomlin and general manager Kevin Colbert have shown much more optimism when talking about the linebackers recovery.

“Sean is progressing,” said Colbert, during a conference call with season-ticket holders a few weeks ago. “When you have as serious a knee injury as he unfortunately had, it sometimes is a very long process. Sometimes it takes over a year to fully rehabilitate But the good thing is we are seeing signs of progress, albeit small steps. But it is progress.

“Sean’s attitude is off the charts. He wants to rehab. He wants to be a great player. He is working hard to get there. He is making small progress, and as long as he is making progress, we will be patient with him and hopefully get him back at full speed at some point.”

Spence is of course nowhere ready to practice just yet and isn\’t expected to be ready by the start of the season. The Steelers more than likely will place him on the Reserve PUP list at the start of the season with the hope that he can begin practicing after the first six weeks of the regular season.

Should Spence be unable to start practicing within the first nine weeks of the season, he will need to placed on injured reserve.

Should the Steelers get anything out of Spence in 2013, it would be very uplifting. You hate to see any young player have his career end before it even starts, so we will all have to continue to keep our fingers crossed for him.

  • Shea Fahr

    Sean, I hope you take your time with this. we are covered at ILB for this year so if you want to put another full year into the rehab, please do. Foote will man the position for at least another year so you have time. Get Well and Good Luck.

  • steeltown

    Its nice to hear something from Spence, he said he’s learning alot from Foote and also being out there getting mental reps. He has a lot of people pulling for him. I hope the other players take notice of his attitude and heart and if/when they themselves get hit with injury (major or minor) they attack their rehab, physically and mentally, with the same kind of perseverance

  • grw1960

    I hope Spence Succeeds and gets well enough to give it a real go in 2014.

  • StrengthOfVictory

    Got to admire this kid’s heart. I wish him nothing but the best. If his hard work and determination doesn’t inspire that defense, I’m not sure what will.

  • steeltown


  • Shea Fahr

    Second that..

  • $19122620

    This is great news! I personally wouldn’t mind if they just took a Marcus Lattimore approach with him, and let him enter the 2014 training camp completely 100% physically and mentally.

  • Fivesevenzero Sports-Radio

    Kid has nothing but Heart!! Was the Anchor for The Hurricanes since he was a Freshman and the Kid can Ball. If he was healthy last season i would of bet the house on him getting the start over Foote by the end of last season! Im praying for him! Hes the Troy of LBs! hes always around the ball! Good luck to him and if he can comeback 100% would be a huge upgrade for the defense! #SpenceGotHeart

  • Anthony G

    That’s fantastic news. Some of the best news I’ve heard all off-season. Best of luck Sean.

  • TJimmy

    I think “My plan is to make it back” is an expression of his “off the charts” attitude and optimism.

    It may or may not be based on any medical information indicating he’ll return this year. We’ll just have to wait and see.

  • 2443scott

    i hope steelers dont hold open a spot for him this year when they could have a healthy lber ready in case we need one …..his injury was so bad to rush him back be crazy ….give him another year away from trying to push it back to soon ….and even if he could come back this year he is in no spot to even start he hasnt even gone thru rookie camp or otas hes better off studying play book and watchiing film and watching the team ……and no one knows if he will be able to go even after hes healed so to rush him back is crazy ..same goes for heath he should sit out half season too hes nearing end his career too so why rush him back just to loose more playing time because he came back to soon and end his career sooner ….


    Spence got hurt during the last preseason game, so he did go through his entire rookie camp & OTAs. Plus all he’s been doing since, outside of rehabbing, is studying & taking mental reps. The only thing left is to get out there & perform. & regardless of what Drs/coaches/GM say, when he feels he’s physically&mentally capable, he’ll take that nxt step. Foote said the miracle has already begun cause he’s already running, which is ahead of schedule.