Steelers LB Sean Spence Has Regained Some Of His Speed And Hopes To Play In 2013

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.

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • steeltown

    If this doesn’t inspire I don’t know what does.. just having him around the other players has to motivate everyone in the building and on the field

  • Greg F

    Did he defeat cancer? It is a nice story if he makes it back, but it is not like he is Brian Piccolo. Calm down.

  • steeltown

    No but his injury could have been (and still could be) career ending.. and yet he still fights and puts in the work. That’s inspiration for everyone who might otherwise take it for granted. Have a heart man, you need a hug??

  • John A Stewart

    This guy is a true football player and I’m proud of him.

  • Intropy

    Wow, right to the reserve pup and not the active. I think the only advantage to that move is that he doesn’t count against the roster limit now.

  • SteelersDepot

    No, Reserve PUP is not available until start of season. Spence just said he knows he is headed that way. He is on Active PUP until then.

  • Jeff Bruder

    Spence seems to be one determined MF’er. I was pretty pumped about him getting drafted by the Steelers and was interested to see what he would bring but that injury was absolutely devastating. I still can’t imagine he plays this year but I guess we can’t rule out 2014.

  • DoctorNoah

    Look, as an Orthopaedic surgeon, I think the perspective one needs to have is that peroneal nerve injury leads to persistent foot drop. That’s recoverable if you want to run around a bit but not for an NFL athlete. If he’s telling the world he’s going to play in 2013, then either the majority of his nerve damage has resolved (which is reasonable) or he’s unrealistic. If he’s sprinting and cutting without an orthosis, then he’s likely had some significant recovery. I would love to hear a legitimate medical report or, at least, someone asking him what his nerve function is. That would make it much easier to handicap his prognosis. Right now we have zero information. Butler’s and Tomlin’s conflicting scuttlebutt are collectively useless.

  • Anthony G

    Is it really necessary to come around and make snide comments just to be a jerk?

  • Brendon Glad

    I think he should go on Injured-reserve for one more year. I think it would be dangerous to his career to return to the team in mid-season. He has not even played one quarter of professional football yet. And so, with the devastating knee-injury thrown on top of that, it is in no one’s best interest for him to attempt to play at that intensity level until he has a full pre-season of games under his belt.
    I’m really rooting for him though. I’ve read nothing but stellar things about him as a man. Jerry Olsavsky was one of my favorite Steelers. And a lot of it had to do with me watching his truly nauseating knee-injury in Cleveland. But THEN watching him return to start at ILB for some Championship-level Steelers defenses after he willed his way back onto the field. I hope Spence can do the same.

  • Jazz

    His knee injury was definitely more severe than Brian Piccolo’s. No, he doesn’t have cancer, but the kid suffered a horrible looking knee injury last August, he’s very fortunate to even be walking after damaging the nerves that was reported. Nothing wrong with being encouraged by a young man trying to make it back. Be excited, no need to calm down.

  • Tom

    Very well said.