Steelers LB Robert Spillane eligible to play Week 17 vs. Cleveland Browns

Allison Koehler
·1 min read

The Pittsburgh Steelers lost more than the game Week 13 versus the Washington Football Team. In the unfortunate domino effect of injuries to their linebacker unit, the Steelers moved Robert Spillane to injured reserve on Dec. 12 after he succumbed to a knee injury.

Spillane came into the lineup to fill the void left by Devin Bush and barely missed a beat. He logged 45 tackles (39 solo), three quarterback hits, and a fumble recovery. The third-year linebacker also picked off Baltimore Raven’s quarterback Lamar Jackson in their Week 8 tilt and took it 33 yards for a score.

In the offseason, the NFL created 2020-specific rules prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Among them was a change to injured reserve. From ESPN’s Dan Graziano:

A player going on injured reserve is allowed to return after missing only three weeks, and teams may return an unlimited number of players from injured reserve throughout the year. Once a team activates a player from injured reserve, it has 21 days to return him to the active roster.

Three weeks makes Spillane eligible to return to the Steelers in Week 17. Of course, whether Spillane plays in Cleveland or even in the postseason depends on the severity and recovery progress of his knee injury. Hopefully, there will be some good news leading up to the Browns game, but I’d rather see him rest up for the playoff run.

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