Sean Spence’s long road back to starting lineup pays off

Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler once said that it would take a “miraculous” recovery for Sean Spence to ever play football again.

So imagine how it must have felt for Butler to tell Spence he’s not only playing, but starting this week.

With rookie Ryan Shazier out with a knee injury, Spence will take his place in the starting lineup. For a guy who tore his ACL, LCL, dislocated his kneecap and had nerve damage in the 2012 preseason, it’s been a long road back that featured a year on IR and another year on the physically unable to perform list.

“It’s been a dream of mine since I was a little kid,” Spence said, via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “”It’s going to be very emotional. I’ll try to hold my tears back; I’m not sure, but I know it will be emotional.”

The former third-round pick showed plenty of promise, but after that devastating knee injury, even he wasn’t always sure he’d return.

“It’s a blessing,” Spence said. “God is good. I’ve been through a lot of things. The tunnel was dark for me for a long time, but I stayed positive. Steeler Nation stayed behind me.”

And this weekend, he gets the chance to pay them back.

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