Spence has been recovering from a knee injury since last August, but he broke a finger quickly into his return from the practice field - casting a pall over his comeback efforts, and possibly risking missing the remainder of this season.
If he practiced for the first time Wednesday, Oct. 16 - the first full day of practice for the week - a decision on his season must be made by Wednesday, Nov. 5.
The finger injury could be enough to inspire the team to keep him on ice until next year - an unfortunate situation that wasn't, nor could have been, anticipated before he got on the practice field. At the same time, it may not necessarily matter, if he shows he's able to play through it.
Roster moves aren't exactly at a premium, considering the Steelers are 2-5 and have an offense that's failed to score more than 19 points in its last three games. The defense allowed 197 rushing yards in its loss to the Raiders, after stifiling both Baltimore and the Jets on the ground.
The team has this week to evaluate Spence and will have to use a current lens - if he can contribute to special teams, sub packages or even the base defense, they'd strongly consider bringing him into the fold. If it's still going to be a bit until either his knee or his finger will not limit him from playing at a high level, they aren't likely to risk putting him on the field for the remainder of the season.
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