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Sean Spence Injury: Steelers 3rd-Rounder Suffers 'Significant' Knee Injury, Likely Torn ACL

It appears Sean Spence will have to wait a year to play his first season in the NFL, as the injury he suffered in Thursday's preseason finale appears to be a torn ACL.

The inside linebacker who Pittsburgh took 86th overall out of Miami hurt his knee in the third quarter of the Steelers' preseason matchup with Carolina and was clearly in immediate pain. The injury went from being "significant" to being a torn ACL, and is now believed to be a torn ACL, LCL, and dislocated kneecap, as Pro Football Talk reports.

Spence was likely to play in a unit already injury-ridden with James Harrison and his backup Jason Worilds just coming off the physically unable to perform list. With an injury as severe as the one Spence suffered, the best case scenario is that his rehab goes well and the linebacker can play in 2013.

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Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.