Linebacker Sean Spence donned pads and joined his teammates in practice for the first time since that terrible Aug. 30, 2012, preseason game at Heinz Field when it looked as though his football career ended before it could really start.
"We'll take it day by day," said Spence, who came off the physically unable to perform list. "I'm not going to try to look into the future, I just want to master each day."
Spence looked like a rookie with a good future, impressing everyone with his play through the 2012 preseason after the Steelers drafted him in the third round from Miami.
But in that fourth preseason game, his left knee was damaged nearly beyond repair. The anterior collateral and lateral collateral ligaments were torn, the kneecap was dislocated and, most importantly, the peroneal nerve that helps control movement down to the foot was damaged.
The nerve could not be repaired; they had to hope it would heal itself. So far, so good, said Spence, who believes in pulling off the miracle that linebackers coach Keith Butler said would allow him to play again.
"I do. But we'll see. I still have a couple more steps to make."
The Steelers have three weeks to observe him in practice before NFL rules force them to decide to keep him on the 53-man roster, put him on injured reserve for the rest of the season or waive him.
First Published October 16, 2013 1:57 PM