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Friday, February 28, 2020

Articles tagged: Ryan Shazier

Ryan Shazier’s father opens up about son’s spinal injury

Ryan Shazier

Ryan Shazier has been making progress since he underwent spinal surgery for an injury he suffered earlier this month, but it is clear the Steelers linebacker has a long way to go before he can think about possibly returning to the football field.

Shazier’s father, Vernon, spoke with ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler this week, and he said the Shazier family has been encouraged by Ryan’s recovery but is trying not to look too far ahead.

“We have seen some improvement that is encouraging,” Vernon said. “We’re taking it one day at a time. We do not know what tomorrow holds. It’s a [daily] journey we don’t know. But I know God is getting the message.

“We’re praying for healing and keeping our mind and faith strong. We know we’re in a deep valley, but we do not feel alone. … It’s easy to be faithful in a storm, but we’re not talking about a drizzle. We’re talking about a hurricane, a category 5 [hurricane], lots of metaphors to describe it.”

Vernon Shazier is an NFL chaplain, and it is clear that religion is a very important part of his family’s life. He declined to get into specifics about Ryan’s injury, but he said the prayers and well-wishes from across the country have not gone unnoticed.

“You’ve got little kids that are praying for him. He has over a million people praying for him,” Vernon said. “It’s coming from so many different sources. … I got an email from a kid who has a medical issue, where Ryan has touched his heart. You have kids wishing Ryan gets better for Christmas. It’s keeping us up.”

Shazier was announced this week as one of eight Pro Bowl players for the Steelers. Vernon said that was one of his son’s goals for the 2017 season, and he is still hoping his team accomplishes the other, which is winning a Super Bowl.

It was a great sign to see Shazier all smiles at Pittsburgh’s game last weekend. He’s just 25, so time is on his side. But with an injury as serious as the one he suffered, football isn’t at the forefront of Shazier’s mind. Here’s hoping he can make a full recovery.

Ryan Shazier attends Steelers-Patriots game, gets big ovation

The Pittsburgh Steelers had an unexpected guest in attendance for Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots, and fans could not have been happier about it.

During the first quarter, Ryan Shazier was shown on the big screen at Heinz Field. The Steelers linebacker had a big smile on his face and was clapping enthusiastically.

Shazier recently underwent spinal surgery, so the fact that doctors even allowed him to leave the hospital was a great sign. He has been ruled out for the remainder of the season. Tracy Wilson of CBS said Shazier had a defensive play book in his hand, and many Steelers players had no idea he would be in attendance.

The Steelers were able to FaceTime with Shazier following their win in Week 14, and some players paid tribute to him during pregame warmups last week and this week.

Steelers FaceTime with Ryan Shazier after win

Ryan Shazier

The Pittsburgh Steelers had Ryan Shazier on their mind — and in their locker room (sort of) after their comeback win over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night that clinched the division.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said after Pittsburgh’s 39-38 win over AFC North rival Baltimore that they FaceTimed Shazier after the game.

Shazier is in the hospital recovering from a spinal injury suffered during Monday night’s win over the Cincinnati Bengals. Shazier is one of the leaders of Pittsburgh’s defense, and they struggled playing without him as they gave up 38 points.

In addition to the FaceTime call, Ben Roethlisberger also sent a nice shoutout to Shazier during his postgame interview with NBC. Before the game, the Steelers had other tributes to their linebacker.

James Harrison warms up shirtless as tribute to Ryan Shazier

James Harrison

The Pittsburgh Steelers most certainly had beloved teammate Ryan Shazier in mind prior to their game against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night.

Veteran linebacker James Harrison went out for pregame warmups without a shirt on as an homage to Shazier:

The Steelers are also wearing cleats paying tribute to the linebacker:

Shazier suffered a serious spine injury in the team’s Monday night game against the Bengals, which was particularly brutal and resulted in multiple injuries to players on both teams. Though the prognosis on Shazier turned out to be much better than initially feared, the linebacker is out for the season and will likely need months of recovery.

Ryan Shazier reportedly showing ‘gradual improvement;’ football future uncertain

Ryan Shazier back

Ryan Shazier is recovering from spinal surgery and is reportedly showing signs of improvement, but it is too early to say whether he will ever play football again.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Shazier has been showing “gradual improvement” over the past few days. Doctors are limiting his movement so they can continue to control the swelling and bruising in the Steelers star’s back, and football is not at the forefront of anyone’s mind at this time.

You can understand why. Shazier fell to the turf after making a tackle with his head down on Monday night, and he immediately grabbed at his back. He also appeared to be moving his extremities as if he was worried about losing feeling in them.

It would be premature for any doctor to say how the injury will affect Shazier’s football career, but one neurologist is not optimistic in the wake of the 25-year-old surgery. At this point, Shazier getting back his range of motion and being able to live a normal life again is the top priority.

Neurologist says Ryan Shazier may never play football again

Ryan Shazier back

The Pittsburgh Steelers announced on Thursday that Ryan Shazier underwent surgery to stabilize his spine, but it is unclear when the star linebacker might return to the field. According to one doctor, there’s a chance it may never happen.

Dr. Anthony Alessi, a neurologist from the University of Connecticut who consults with the NFL Players Association, told ESPN’s Michele Steele that the type of procedure Shazier underwent could indicate his playing career is over.

Alessi stressed that he has not had access to Shazier’s medical records and is only sharing his opinion, though it is obviously an educated one.

Players and coaches from the Steelers have said this week that they are far more concerned about Shazier’s health than they are about his timeline for returning to the field. As soon as Shazier hit the turf after lowering his head on a tackle Monday night, it was obviously he wasn’t dealing with something minor.

When Rob Gronkowski suffered a back injury last year, we heard a doctor say the same type of things about his playing career. While the two situations are not the same, we hope Alessi’s fears end up being unfounded as well.

Report: Ryan Shazier out for season, will need ‘months of recovery’

Ryan Shazier back

The Pittsburgh Steelers released a statement on Thursday revealing that Ryan Shazier underwent surgery to stabilize his spine, and it almost goes without saying that the linebacker will miss the remainder of the 2017 season.

While the Steelers have not made any official announcements about Shazier’s recovery timeline, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that it will be months before Shazier can even start to consider a return to football.

Shazier was injured while making a tackle during Monday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals. He went in for the hit with his head down and immediately fell to the turf.

It sounds like the injury could have been much, much worse, but it could still be a long road back for Shazier. The play he was injured on was just one of several brutal hits throughout the game.