The Pittsburgh Steelers officially put an end to linebacker Ryan Shazier’s 2017 season on Tuesday by placing him on the IR. The news was made public along with a statement from team president Art Rooney II who emphasized that while Shazier will not be on the field anymore this season, he will remain one of the team’s leaders. Shazier will help the Steelers with game planning while remaining off of the field.
Shazier endured a spinal stabilization surgery last week after being hospitalized after injuring his spine during Pittsburgh’s matchup with Cincinnati on Dec. 4. While tackling Bengals receiver Josh Malone, Shazier made the bone-crushing tackle while his head was still facing down. After contact was made, Shazier’s legs did not move while he fell to the ground and upon hitting the ground Shazier noticeably signaled to the sideline and indicated the pain was in his back.
After being carted off of the field Shazier was brought to the University of Cincinnati hospital, where he underwent testing and stayed for a couple of days before being transferred to a Pittsburgh hospital. At this time the linebacker remains hospitalized in Pittsburgh where he continues showing improvement. As of Dec. 10, the doctors were still limiting Shazier’s movement in order to allow the swelling to diminish. Both the doctors and the Steelers organization have focused their concerns on the short-term and long-term health of Shazier rather than his playing career.
While fans would like to see Shazier return to the field in 2018, obviously his overall health is a concern. Although his 2017 season is done, it appears that the Steelers have found a way to make Shazier part of the team still. Although there have been no mentions thus far, one could say that it appears that the Steelers organization would find a future with Shazier even if it isn’t his work on the field.
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