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Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Sean Spence practices on limited basis

By Scott Brown

PITTSBURGH -- One linebacker made a celebrated return to practice, albeit on a limited basis, while another one watched as the Pittsburgh Steelers prepared for their Sunday game against the visiting Baltimore Ravens.

Sean Spence practiced Wednesday for the first time since a gruesome and career-threatening knee injury in the Steelers’ final exhibition game last season. Spence, who tore several knee ligaments and sustained nerve damage after dislocating his left knee cap, said he did individual drills Wednesday and also participated in some team drills.

“It felt pretty good,” he said of his left knee.

The Steelers hope Jarvis Jones can say the same about his health as the week progresses. The rookie outside linebacker did not take part in the Steelers’ first practice of the week because of a head injury.

Coach Mike Tomlin did not mention Jones on Tuesday when he provided an injury update at his weekly news conference.

A handful of players were limited in practice including defensive end Brett Keisel (abdomen), outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley (knee) and right tackle Marcus Gilbert (quadricep). Tight end Heath Miller was also limited in practice, per a Tomlin decision.

Wide receiver Markus Wheaton has already been ruled out for the Ravens game.

Spence was not listed on the injury report because he is still on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. The Steelers have three weeks to evaluate Spence and either place him on injured-reserve or add their 2012 third-round draft pick to the 53-man roster.

Tomlin said on Tuesday that he thinks Spence could return this season, and the latter said following his first practice in over a year that it is a realistic goal.

“Yeah I think I can (play this season),” Spence said, “but I don’t want to look into the future too soon.”