Rookie inside linebacker Sean Spence has multiple torn ligaments in his left knee and will miss the remainder of the season, the Steelers announced Friday.
Spence, a third-round draft choice, was placed on the reserve/injured list. He was injured Thursday night near the end of the third quarter of the final preseason game against the Carolina Panthers at Heinz Field.
The injury immediately appeared to be significant when the medical staff placed a vacuum cast on his leg to stabilize his knee. Spence was carted from the field, a towel draped over his head, and taken to a local hospital.
Spence was scheduled to be a backup inside linebacker and special-teams contributor this season. Without Spence, and with Stevenson Sylvester recovering from a tear of his medial collateral ligament, the Steelers will begin the season without their top backups at inside linebacker. Veteran free-agent Brandon Johnson, who played the past four seasons with Cincinnati will replace Spence.