What was once viewed as the impossible now appears to be changing to the possible. Inside linebacker Sean Spence, who suffered a horrific knee injury in the 2012 preseason, appears to be ready to return to the field according to Mark Kaboly of the Tribune Review.PUP list, this news is a step in that direction. During the off-season, general manager Kevin Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlin alluded to the fact that Spence’s health would drive all decisions about his future availability.
In fact, looking back at many comments, it appears that the Steelers were content with Spence spending the 2013 season in injured reserve. This is a fact, which the second-year linebacker definitely was not content with. Spence’s desire to return was evident throughout his rehabilitation, keeping a positive attitude, even in the face of long odds.
Not a typical Steelers’ inside linebacker, Spence adds speed and coverage ability to the inside linebacker position. A four-year starter at the University of Miami, he is smaller than prototypical linebackers at 5-11, 231 pounds, but he is a playmaker with outstanding instincts and solid athleticism. Prior to the injury in the preseason finale, he was on his way to a potential solid season both on special teams and in the base defense, where his athleticism, intelligence and game understanding jumped off the film.
Now, it appears that Spence will take the next step in his recovery, being activated from the PUP list, when that window opens after the Week 6 match-up against the New York Jets. Once activated, the Steelers have three weeks to make a final decision for 2013, either placing him on the active roster, injured-reserve or releasing him. With all the work he has put in, it is clear that the Steelers are hoping he can contribute sooner than expected.
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