Sean Spence to practice this week

Linebacker Sean Spence will see his first football action in over a year when he returns to the practice field on Wednesday. Spence suffered a severe season-ending knee injury against the Carolina Panthers in the 2012 preseason; an injury many thought could have ended his career.

But after a long road filled with ups and downs, Spence is ready to start working his way back.

“We are going to look at Sean participating in some form or fashion this week, probably in a limited capacity, individual drills and so forth,” said Coach Mike Tomlin.  “We’ve got a window to evaluate Sean, but more than anything it’s about getting him on the field first and just watching him in a limited capacity to see where he is before we make any plans about his participation or how we move forward. We’ll see how he performs in practice and let that be our guide in terms in how we progress. Initially he will be working in limited capacity in look teams more than not.”

Spence opened the season on the reserve/physically unable to perform list, and Wednesday would be the first day he is eligible to return to practice according to NFL rules regarding the PUP list. 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.

“I know a lot of people have not been able to come back after damage like that, but I'm going to see if I can be one of the only ones,” said Spence this past spring, during the team’s offseason program. “Actually, I know that I’m going to beat the odds. I'm not really worried about that.”

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