On Dec. 4, 2017, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier suffered a back injury after attempting to make a head-on tackle against the Cincinnati Bengals. The injury left many wondering if Shazier would ever be able to walk again, let alone play football at the professional level, as he had to be carted off the field. He later underwent spinal stabilization surgery to repair a spinal contusion.
However, just over four months after the scary injury, Shazier appears to be in much better shape. The former Ohio State linebacker was standing and moving around on his own at Ohio State’s spring game on Saturday. In fact, Shazier did more than that, as he pumped up the crowd during the game, resulting in a rousing ovation from the sellout crowd at Ohio Stadium.
Check out the video below:
It'll be tough to top this @B1Gfootball spring moment.
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) April 14, 2018
“It’s great to be back at Ohio State,” Shazier told reporters. “The people here have always been supportive of me, especially when I got injured and even now. So just the fact that I can be there and support them back means a lot.”
In addition, Shazier and former Buckeyes cornerback Malcolm Jenkins are the honorary coaches for the spring game. Prior to contest, both players spoke with the team in the locker room, and again, Shazier was pictured standing on his own power.
The captains ✊
— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) April 14, 2018
Shazier was also seen standing on his own power during the Pittsburgh Penguins’ playoff game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday.
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) April 11, 2018
Considering how bad the injury looked when it happened, it is great to see Shazier making this kind of progress.
While he has been ruled out of playing in the 2018 NFL season, there is still a chance that Shazier returns to the NFL the following season.
In his three seasons at Ohio State, Shazier recorded 315 tackles (208 solo tackles) and 14 sacks. In addition, he was a 2013 first-team All-American and a 2013 first-team All-Big Ten member.
In four seasons with the Steelers, Shazier has made 299 total tackles, 7 sacks and 7 interceptions. He also has forced 7 fumbles and recovered 3 fumbles.