Spence failed to record a tackle against Denver on Sunday, and finished the 2015 season with 37 tackles (29 total), including a sack. Despite playing in just one less game than last season, Spence played 26 percent less defensive snaps, resulting in a decline in production. If Spence, who is an unrestricted free agent, returns to the Steelers next season, he likely finds himself buried behind Lawrence Timmons, Ryan Shazier, Jarvis Jones, James Harrison, Bud Dupree, and possibly Arthur Moats on the linebacker depth chart.
Steelers linebacker Sean Spence totaled eight tackles (five solo) including a sack in the overtime loss to Baltimore on Thursday. The sack was the first of the season for Spence, and one of five on the night for the Steelers. As a unit, Pittsburgh is averaging three-and-a-half sacks per game, compared to just two per game in 2014.
A right hamstring injury has knocked Steelers linebacker Sean Spence out of the Thursday night season opener at New England. His return has been deemed as doubtful. Spence emerged as a sometimes-starter last season and contributed to 34 tackles.
Steelers linebackers coach Keith Butler told linebacker Sean Spence that Spence will start Sunday against the Bucs in place of the injured Ryan Shazier, according to ESPN. "The tunnel was dark for me for a long time, but I stayed positive and Steelers Nation stayed behind me," said Spence, who shredded his left knee in a 2012 preseason game and dislocated his knee cap while also sustaining nerve damage. "I finally get to get some good quality reps on defense."
Steelers linebacker Sean Spence (knee), tight end Matt Spaeth (hamstring) and long snapper Greg Warren (knee) are all on pace to play the season opener. All three players practiced and were listed as probable for Week 1 against the Browns.