The story of Ryan Shazier’s injury is haunting. His replacement, Sean Spence, is perfect, for Sean is a legacy of commitment, endurance and of beating the odds.
Spence was drafted by the Steelers in the third round of the 2012 draft. He was a linebacker in the new mode, quick, agile, smart and, above all, hard hitting. He was a Ryan Shazier prototype, but tragically, like Ryan Shazier, Sean Spence suffered a catastrophic injury.
In a 2012 preseason game Spence tore his left ACL and LCL, dislocated the kneecap, and damaged the nerve that helps control movement in the lower leg.
Many, including, top NFL coaches within the Steeler’s organization openly wondered if he’d ever play in the NFL again. Spence himself said: “There were a lot of nights when I cried myself to sleep.’’
Miracle one: Sean did play. He beat all the odds and played for the Steelers, the Tennessee Titans, and the Baltimore Colts. Miracle two: despite not being with the Steelers since 2014, Spence was signed and started playing within a week. Last night, Spence had six tackles and a sack; he’s back.
Is there any better medicine for Ryan Shazier? If Sean can do it, all things are possible: #Shalieve.