The road for inside linebacker Sean Spence and the Steelers has been a long tough one but there is cause for optimism for the 2014 season. Spence was drafted by the Steelers as a third round pick in the 2012 draft out of Miami. It did not take Spence long to impress his coaches and teammates. Early on in 2012 OTA workouts Spence showed great promise and it seemed the sky was the limit.
Then in the final pre-season game of 2012 against the Carolina Panthers,Sean Spence’s future would take a devastating turn . Spence severely damaged his left knee tearing the anterior collateral and lateral collateral ligaments while also dislocating his knee cap and damaging the peroneal nerve.The peroneal nerve controls movement down to the foot and could not be repaired . Spence’s only chance was that the nerve would heal on its own,a rarity in most cases.
After Fourteen long months of rehab,pain,and hard work,Sean Spence returned to the practice field with the rest of his Pittsburgh Steelers teammates in October 2013. The fact that Spence was able to return to the practice field at all was nothing short of a miracle.
Spence’s return would be short-lived after he broke his hand/finger in early November during practice and was once again placed on injured reserve.
Now,let us jump to March 2014. The Steelers have recently cut ties with longtime veteran Larry Foote and once again there is great optimism surrounding Sean Spence.
Rumor has it that Spence is way ahead of schedule as far of the nerve damage healing and the Steelers’ faith in their young linebackers may have had a lot to do with Foote’s departure.
The Steelers brass have been cautiously optimistic when speaking of Sean Spence’s recovery. General Manager Kevin Colbert had this to say about Spence this February ..
General Manager Kevin Colbert : “He’s certainly going to be in the mix as a possibility,but I think we’d be naïve to say that he’s over the hump because nobody knows that at this point.”
Sean Spence (knee) had “one great day of practice” “Maybe that small sample that he gave us was enough to show that he can be fully recovered from this injury,” Colbert said. “Whether he can sustain it through an offseason, training camp, preseason, regular season, we won’t know. But what he showed us in that one day of practice we’re very encouraged where he is right now.
Reporter Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette recently tweeted that Spence is ahead of schedule also…
Sean Spence way ahead of where #Steelers thought he would be, but…. #repost http://www.sulia.com/my_thoughts/65022a44-a952-45f7-9928-cb50e8c25f65/?source=tw&action=prop&form_factor=desktop&repost=300 …
So Steeler Nation it looks like if things keep progressing as they have and with a little luck Sean Spence may be the Steelers’ Ace in the Hole in 2014. After the defensive slide of 2013 the Steelers are surely hoping as much.