PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) — The Steelers defeated the Carolina Panthers at Heinz Field, 17-16, Thursday night to wrap up the 2012 preseason, but at what cost?

Head coach Mike Tomlin addressed the media following a game that saw the already banged-up home team sustain another potentially devastating injury.

Rookie linebacker Sean Spence was carted off the field during the third quarter after suffering what was being called, as of press time, a torn ACL/LCL and dislocated kneecap, according to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com.

Pro Bowl linebacker James Harrison is trying to recover from knee surgery in time for the opener in Denver Sept. 9, while semi-regular Jason Worilds is nursing a wrist injury.

If the early reports about Spence, a third-round pick from Miami (FL) are true, the Steelers may be forced to go the entire season without two of their top three 2012 draftees.

Tomlin spoke about the health of his team, and, among other things, about the performance of backup quarterback Charlie Batch–a game some speculate may be his last in a Steeler uniform as the team prepares for final roster cuts Friday:

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