Sean Spence practices on limited basis

Today was the day linebacker Sean Spence has waited over a year for, the chance to finally get back on the football field with his teammates.

Spence suffered a severe knee injury during the 2012 preseason, missing the entire year and spending the first six weeks of this season on the physically unable to perform list. But after uncountable hours of rehabilitation, Spence was back at it, taking part in individual drills during Wednesday’s practice in the team’s indoor practice facility.  He still hasn’t faced full contact, but it’s a step in the right direction.

“It felt good,” said Spence after practice. “It held up pretty solid. I have to look at the film to get a better diagnosis of it and continue to build. But it’s exciting, very exciting.”

Spence began running full speed several months ago, and has seen gradual improvement since the start of the season. This is the first he was eligible to practice according to NFL rules regarding the PUP list, and he anxiously awaited the day.

“I feel like I am blessed,” said Spence. “I have the opportunity and I am looking forward to it. I thought it was last week (I could practice), but they told me after week six. I jumped the gun but I knew in due time.”

He is permitted to practice for three weeks before the team must make a decision to activate him, put him on injured reserve or waive him. Spence is hoping to have the opportunity to play this season, but said he isn’t making any guarantees, just waiting to see how things go. The next step will be gaining trust in the knee.

“That is going to be the biggest thing,” said Spence. “When you are on the field there is no thinking. When you are rehabbing you have certain landmarks, but when it comes down to playing ball, you just have to go play.

“It’s a big step, but I am looking forward to the challenge. I am just happy and blessed I have this opportunity.”

Many didn’t think he would ever have the chance to play again, as the injury was that gruesome, so much so he only looked at pictures of it a few months ago.

“I never wanted to watch it but I had to relive it,” said Spence. “It was bad. I couldn’t believe my body made that movement, but things happen. I think it made my mental strength better. Being away from the team, not being able to do certain activities, but I am happy it’s over.”

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