It is nothing short of amazing that inside linebacker Sean Spence is currently practicing with the Steelers. When one considers how badly his knee was mangled during Pittsburgh’s preseason finale against the Carolina Panthers last August, the simple fact that Spence has been able to resume his professional football career is downright wonderful.
Although Spence has yet to suit up for the Steelers in a regular season game since his return to practice, Pittsburgh’s brass must make a decision on the inside linebacker when it comes to his status on the PUP list.
According to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Spence will only be able to practice with the team as a member of the PUP list for the rest of this week. If the Steelers wish to keep Spence on the practice field and possibly insert him into a game later this season, then they would have to take him off of the PUP list and place him on the 53-man roster.
If Pittsburgh’s brass elect to keep Spence on the PUP list for the remainder of the season however, then the former Miami Hurricane would not be permitted to practice and would have to wait until the 2013 campaign is finished to do so for the Steelers.
Personally, I believe that the Steelers would be best served to keep their injured inside linebacker on the PUP list for the remainder of the season. While the lack of practice time might hurt, Pittsburgh needs spots on their 53-man roster for other positions of need (offensive line) right now. In addition, Spence would still be a member of the Steelers and could continue to work out on his own, rehabilitate at his own pace, and come back even stronger next fall.
Regardless of what the Steelers eventually decide to do with Spence this year though, it is fantastic to know that they are even having a conversation at all about him returning to the active roster.
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