Steelers Clinch AFC North, Dedicate Win Vs. Ravens To Injured LB Ryan Shazier
The Pittsburgh Steelers were missing a key defensive player on Sunday, but they still managed to win their division.
Steelers vs. Ravens Game Score
Pittsburgh (11-2) secured a thrilling 39-38 home victory over the Baltimore Ravens (7-6) to clinch the AFC North, and dedicated the big win to linebacker Ryan Shazier, who missed the game after injuring his back in the team’s Week 13 road victory in Cincinnati. The Steelers presented Shazier with the game ball in his hospital bed via FaceTime.
We love our brother, and we wanted to get this win for him, and I’m glad we did,” said Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who left Heinz Field with Shazier’s No. 50 jersey draped over his shoulder.
Steelers defensive end Stephon Tuitt called the FaceTime moment “something I’ll never forget,” though several of the players said they couldn’t make out what Shazier said because of the locker room noise.
Coach Mike Tomlin did not speak much of Shazier’s situation, but said the linebacker’s presence was certainly felt in his locker room Sunday.
“We are riding with that guy,” Tomlin said. “He is strong. He is strengthening us.”
Roethlisberger said he visited Shazier on Thursday after practice, which felt “like a weight was lifted off my back.”
Dozens of players, coaches and fans supported Shazier in some way. Linebacker James Harrison stretched on the field with his shirt off, which was Shazier’s famous pregame routine.
Fifteen Steelers players also wore customized Shazier cleats. Those players were Vince Williams, Sean Davis, Stephon Tuitt, Cam Heyward, Arthur Moats, Tyson Alualu, Mike Hilton, T.J. Watt, Javon Hargrave, William Gay, Bud Dupree, Robert Golden, Roosevelt Nix, Anthony Chickillo and Antonio Brown.
Alualu posted on Instagram a photo of his cleats accompanied by a customized No. 50 Terrible Towel.
The Steelers next host New England on Sunday. Pittsburgh visits Houston and then hosts Cincinnati for its final two games of the season.
PITTSBURGH, PA – DECEMBER 10: Le’Veon Bell #26 of the Pittsburgh Steelers carries the ball against Michael Pierce #97 of the Baltimore Ravens in the second half during the game at Heinz Field on December 10, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)