Ryan Shazier Jogs At Steelers Practice One Year After Back Injury Vs. Bengals - uSports.org

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PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 08: Ryan Shazier #50 of the Pittsburgh Steelers intercepts a pass thrown by Matt Moore #8 of the Miami Dolphins in the third quarter during the Wild Card Playoff game against the Miami Dolphins at Heinz Field on January 8, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Ryan Shazier Jogs At Steelers Practice One Year After Back Injury Vs. Bengals

Exactly one year ago, Ryan Shazier was strapped to a backboard and carted off the field at Paul Brown Stadium during a Monday Night Football game against the Cinncinatti Bengals.

He’d spend the next year trying to regain movement in his lower extremities. Today, the former Pro Bowl linebacker is a step closer to pre-injury form.

Steelers LB Shazier Back At Practice 

After tackling receiver Josh Malone, Shazier went limp on the field with a spinal contusion on Dec. 5, 2017. He’d spend two days in a hospital in Cincinnati then head back to Pittsburgh to focus on his long-term recovery.  Though active with the Steelers — he was in a Heinz Field suite less than two weeks after surgery and walked across the stage at the NFL Draft — Shazier has guarded his rehab and his personal life. He’s spoken publicly only a handful of times. The linebacker is still declining interviews.

But according to Steelers linebacker coach Joey Porter, Shazier jogged on Friday for the first time since the injury. Then, in an Instagram post on Tuesday, he recounted the months since it happened.

He wrote, “Today is a day to remember. Just a year ago my life changed forever. It was a scary moment for many people. I’m not going to lie, I was one of them. Ive learned this was an amazing opportunity for the Lord to show how great He is. It’s been a crazy, long journey, but it is not over yet. The best worst part about this journey that I’m on is the unknown. Day by day it’s getting better than the the day before. Today is and was a day of joy.”

Shazier continued: “I want to thank all of the amazing people that have been a part of this process with me, starting with the one and only Michelle. And let’s talk about my ride or die boy.. my number one man..my son RJ knows how to keep a smile on my face. My parents and siblings have been there through the thick and thin. There was more than a million tears cried over this year, but now they are all of joy. Love you guys. My friends and teammates, man y’all don’t understand just the little things you’ve done that have pulled me from darkness to the light. To the Steelers-there’s no better organization. Thank you for being family to me. The UPMC trainers and staff for getting me back on my feet. Steelers and Buckeye Nation-your prayers and love honestly keep me going. And to the fans everywhere, I feel your support honestly everyday. CAA-thank you guys constantly for giving me amazing advice and being the best agency in the world. And Iast, but not least, I have to give Jerome Howard and Mike Micca an extra thank you for dealing with my foolishness, excuses, pain, and joy everyday. These two are with me working everyday and I cant say thank you enough to these guys. Love you all thank you so much. #SHALIEVE

 

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Today is a day to remember. Just a year ago my life changed forever. It was a scary moment for many people. I’m not going to lie, I was one of them. Ive learned this was an amazing opportunity for the Lord to show how great He is. It’s been a crazy, long journey, but it is not over yet. The best worst part about this journey that I’m on is the unknown. Day by day it’s getting better than the the day before. Today is and was a day of joy. I want to thank all of the amazing people that have been a part of this process with me, starting with the one and only Michelle. And let’s talk about my ride or die boy.. my number one man..my son RJ knows how to keep a smile on my face. My parents and siblings have been there through the thick and thin. There was more than a million tears cried over this year, but now they are all of joy. Love you guys. My friends and teammates, man y’all don’t understand just the little things you’ve done that have pulled me from darkness to the light. To the Steelers-there’s no better organization. Thank you for being family to me. The UPMC trainers and staff for getting me back on my feet. Steelers and Buckeye Nation-your prayers and love honestly keep me going. And to the fans everywhere, I feel your support honestly everyday. CAA-thank you guys constantly for giving me amazing advice and being the best agency in the world. And Iast, but not least, I have to give Jerome Howard and Mike Micca an extra thank you for dealing with my foolishness, excuses, pain, and joy everyday. These two are with me working everyday and I cant say thank you enough to these guys. Love you all thank you so much. #SHALIEVE

A post shared by Ryan Shazier (@shazier) on

The 26-year old still intends to return to the NFL. After going from hospital bed to wheelchair to canes to nothing, he thinks that the Pro Football Hall of Fame is still within his reach.

He’s already overcome the seemingly impossible, jogging after being given only a 20 percent chance of walking. But to be cleared to play after a spinal injury might be medically impossible, if not reckless.

Still, Shazier takes joy in the progress he has made and continues to move towards his goals.

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Written by Bill Piersa