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NFL Cuts: Steelers Place Sean Spence On IR, Release 21 Players

The Pittsburgh Steelers have released 21 players and placed LB Sean Spence on injured reserve ahead of the NFL's deadline to reduce the roster to 53, the team announced Friday.

Spence was selected by the Steelers in the third round of April's NFL draft. The rookie was expected to provide depth at the linebacker position in 2012 before suffering a season-ending knee injury Thursday night.

Notable cuts include Trai Essex, who has started 28 career games in a Steelers' uniform, and Jeremy Kapinos, the team's punter since 2010.

The other 19 players let go were: Da'Mon Cromartie-Smith, Terrence Frederick, Josh Victorian, Brandon Hicks, Marshall McFadden, Corbin Bryant, Igbinosun Ikponmwosa, Jake Stoller, Jerrod Johnson, DuJuan Harris,Tyler Beiler, Toney Clemons, David Gilreath, Marquis Maze, Derrick Williams, Ryan Lee, John Malecki and Chris Scott.

For more on the Steelers, head to Behind The Steel Curtain. For all things NFL, get to SB Nation's NFL hub.

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