Spillane could be in line for a starting role at inside linebacker this season following Vince Williams' retirement Wednesday, Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. Spillane and Williams were expected to compete for snaps during training camp, but the former could now be the clear starter as he prepares for his fourth season in Pittsburgh. The Western Michigan standout totaled 45 tackles (39 solo), two sacks, an interception, a fumble recovery and a touchdown across 12 games last season before he missed the Steelers' final four games with a knee injury.
Spillane signed a one-year contract with Pittsburgh on Wednesday, Missi Matthews of the Steelers' official site reports. The Steelers tendered Spillane earlier this month, so it was all but a given that he would be back with the team in 2021. After being thrust into the starting lineup on seven occasions after injuries piled up at linebacker last season, Spillane has proven himself as a capable depth piece going forward.
The Steelers extended Spillane a free-agent tender Saturday, Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com reports. Spillane suited up 12 games for the Steelers in 2020, and he made seven starts after injuries piled up. Over 378 snaps, Spillane registered 45 tackles, four pass breakups, two sacks and a pick-six. The Steelers like his potential and believe he can provide sturdy depth in 2021.
Spillane was activated from the Steelers' injured reserve list Saturday. Spillane's knee injury caused him to miss the past four games, but after a slow and careful recovery, the linebacker can officially suit up for Sunday's wild-card matchup against the Browns. The 25-year-old has posted 45 tackles (39 solo), two sacks and one interception throughout his 12 games this season.
Spillane (knee) returned to practice Wednesday with the Steelers. Spillane is slowly making his potential return for Sunday's wild-card game. After suffering a knee injury and getting placed on injured reserve, the linebacker is officially eligible to rejoin the team for Sunday's wild-card matchup.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|2||09/19||Las Vegas Raiders||28|
|4||10/03||@Green Bay Packers||1|
|11||11/21||@Los Angeles Chargers||30|
|16||12/26||@Kansas City Chiefs||29|