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#pounditWednesday, January 20, 2021

Ryan Shazier announces retirement in emotional video

Ryan Shazier Penguins

It has been nearly three years since Ryan Shazier suffered a devastating injury that temporarily left him paralyzed, and the former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker is officially retiring from the game.

Shazier shared an emotional Twitter video on Wednesday announcing his retirement.

“It’s been over 1,000 days since I got hurt on the field. To lose the game in a way I never envisioned has not been easy,” Shazier said. “When you’ve played the game of football the way I did, you convince yourself you’re Superman and nothing can stop you. The moment I got hurt, I stopped being Superman. That was difficult to make sense of.”

Shazier did not rule out returning to football in some capacity, but he said he is focused on other aspects of life at the moment. Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reports that Shazier will join The Ringer and host its Tuesday NFL show.

“I’m gonna step away from the game for a while and see what else life has to offer,” he added. “I know football will always be here for me if I need it, but right now I’m excited to explore some new challenges on different paths.”

Shazier was rushed to the hospital on Dec. 4, 2017, after a tackling attempt against the Cincinnati Bengals. He remained with the Steelers after his injury and had some inspiring moments with the franchise. He put in countless hours of rehab just to be able to walk again and dance at his wedding, so returning to the football field was always an extremely lofty goal.

In three-plus NFL seasons, Shazier started 41 games for the Steelers and had 299 tackles, seven interceptions and seven forced fumbles. The former 15th overall pick was one of the premier linebackers in the game. It’s a shame the way his career came to an end.

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