Steelers LB Sean Spence Not Guaranteeing Anything Upon His Return To Practice

As expected, Pittsburgh Steelers second-year linebacker Sean Spence practiced Wednesday for the first time since severely injuring his left knee 14 months ago in the 2012 preseason finale against the Carolina Panthers.

“It felt good,” said Spence after practice. “It held up pretty solid. I have to look at the film to get a better diagnosis of it and continue to build. But it’s exciting, very exciting.”

Spence won’t be removed from the Steelers PUP list this week so that means he won’t play Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens. The Steelers have three weeks to decide whether or not he is recovered enough to resume his career and the Miami product said Wednesday he is going through the process of learning to trust his knee right now.

“That is going to be the biggest thing,” said Spence. “When you are on the field there is no thinking. When you are rehabbing you have certain landmarks, but when it comes down to playing ball, you just have to go play.”

Back in May, Spence predicted that he would play this season, but on Wednesday, he backed off that prediction a little bit.

“I’m definitely hoping for it, but I’m not going to guarantee anything,” said Spence. “I’m just going to take one day at a time and see where it goes.”

Right now, the Steelers have rookie Vince Williams starting alongside Lawrence Timmons and the two are backed up by Stevenson Sylvester and undrafted free agent Terence Garvin. Should Spence wind up being removed from the PUP list during the three week window, his initial contributions will likely be on special teams. Beyond that, there is an outside chance he could be carved out a third down role in the Steelers nickel sub package defense.

Spence refuses to look that far into the future right now and more than anything he’s just grateful to have a chance to prove he can still play.

“I am just happy and blessed I have this opportunity,” he said.

  • TJimmy

    Dale Lolley recently mentioned in his blog that privately the Steelers coaches do not believe he will return to the field this year. Either way I like his positive attitude.

  • dgh57

    Once Spence is activated to the roster who’s roster spot will be lost? I’m guessing Carter.

  • steeltown

    What a great story
    IF he ever returns to form.. man, it would be crazy to have Polamalu, Shark Thomas and Spence on the field at the same time, talk about guys that get to the ball!

  • steeltown

    If that happens, I bet its Sly or Garvin.. though I’d prefer it be C.Carter being that Garvin and Sly can seemingly play inside and outside.

  • NW86

    My guess is that the Steelers will wait the 3 weeks, then add him to the 53-man roster. But he will still be a game day inactive unless there is another injury at ILB that allows him to dress late in the season.

  • Eric

    I think he will only return to the roster this year if another LB is injured during this 3 week period,

  • r4kolb

    I have to believe if that were the case they would not have kept him on the active roster. Unless Lolley sits in on these private conversations the coaches allegedly had. Maybe Lolley is a mind reader and can see what they are thinking.

  • dgh57

    What happens to Spence if no other injuries occur? Depending how the 3 week period goes if deemed healthy enough he will be put on the roster and someone else will lose their job. When that happens I see him playing Special Teams for a few weeks and then towards the end of the season a few sub package plays sprinkled in on defense. It’s time to see what we have in Spence so we can plan for the future.

  • Eric

    Within 3 weeks, the Steelers must activate him or keep him on IR for the remainder of the year.

  • Johnny Loose

    I know!! SuSPENCEful..