Sean Spence says he plans to play this year

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While his coaches couldn’t agree on the prognosis, Steelers linebacker Sean Spence said Wednesday he plans to play this season.

Spence, last year’s third-round pick, was hurt in the final preseason game, injuring three ligaments and suffering nerve damage. That’s the most concerning of the lot, and Spence admitted the nerve was “healing slow.”

The collection of medical issues led Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler to say Spence would need a “miraculous recovery,” to come back, while head coach Mike Tomlin said Spence would have a “full recovery.”

I’m going to continue to attack this like I’m going to play this year,” Spence said, via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I’m in meeting and preparing as if I’m practicing. I’m just going to continue to get better and I’m looking forward to the season.”

Such a quick return might still be a long shot, but Spence has been attending OTAs and meetings to continue to learn. He said he was able to run, and hasn’t ruled out playing this season, though many think that’s unlikely.

“I know I’m going to beat the odds,” Spence said. “I’m not even worried about that. The progress that I have made, the doctors say that I’ve already beat the odds. I’m just keeping my faith in God and knowing he’s going to give me another chance.”

The Steelers had high hopes for Spence playing early on, but at this point, getting him on the field at all would be impressive feat of rehabilitation.