As we reported yesterday, linebacker Sean Spence will return to practice with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Wednesday. Spence has been in rehab for the last 14 months recovering from a horrific knee injury he suffered in last year’s preseason finale against the Carolina Panthers. An injury that had the odds against Spence, but even that would not stop the middle linebacker from fighting back.
When being activated from the physically unable to perform list, the Steelers must make room for Spence on their 53-man roster, which implies that they release a player. Spence’s return to game action is not a guarantee. The second-year linebacker has three weeks to practice before he could possibly be placed on injured reserve.
“I don’t feel like I am rushing myself back,” Spence said. “I am going to see how I feel when I practice. If everything goes good, I’ll go from there and take it one day at a time.”
Taking it one day at a time is a good idea, but Spence knows that there is no time to waste. Which is a good reason why he has prepared himself every week as if he were playing.
“I have been in every meeting,” Spence said. “It is like I am preparing for the game but not playing. I know the game plan and know what’s going on.”
Spence’s return could be a lift for the Steelers after losing linebacker Larry Foote in week one and having to start some inexperienced players in the past several weeks.
“Just trying to get back used to the contact,” Spence said. “I’ll probably start off with individual, you know, ease me into it, and as the weeks go, by depending on how my progress, we will go from there.”