It has been a long road back for Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Sean Spence.
Eventually all the hard work could pay off this season.
Spence, a third-round draft pick in 2012, hasn’t played since sustaining a career-threatening knee injury in the Steelers’ final preseason game two years ago.
At the time, Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler said last year that it would be a “miracle” if Spence played again after he shredded several ligaments and suffered nerve damage in his knee.
However Spence is back on the field after two years of rehab and is working out with his teammates in Pittsburgh’s offseason program.
He is a candidate to contribute this season, which is great news as the Steelers could use another impact linebacker.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Spence has been given “a clean bill of health” and that the inside linebacker could figure into the team’s plans this season.
“We can’t wait to watch him take the next step in this process,” Tomlin told ESPN’s Scott Brown, “which is play football.”
I was a fan of Spence’s coming out of college and the idea when the Steelers drafted Spence was that he possibly could become a long-term starter at inside linebacker.
Is that still in the plans for Spence?
He has a lot of hurdles to overcome in order to answer that question, but given what he has overcome to this point, I wouldn’t put it past him.
It’s doubtful that he will be the same player he was in college, as it would be next to impossible to think that he could be coming back from the injury he has.
But that doesn’t mean he can’t be a productive football player. Spence has proven most people wrong by simply making it back onto the field.
Now he has to show them he can play.