Not long after kickoff of a spirited game between rivals Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals, everyone’s thoughts turned to Ryan Shazier’s health.
Shazier, the talented inside linebacker of the Pittsburgh Steelers, was down on the ground and seemingly unable to move his legs after a scary hit in the first quarter of Monday night’s game. He left the stadium in an ambulance after being put on a backboard and carted off the field. He suffered a spinal contusion on the play, according to reports from NFL Network and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Some good news coming out from Steelers. Two players called Shazier's injury a spinal chord concussion, comparable to Tommy Maddox injury in 2002; Maddox missed 1 game. Encouraging news, another said.
— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) December 5, 2017
Steelers told Ryan Shazier has a spinal contusion and that some swelling is involved. Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert took a police escort to hospital.
— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) December 5, 2017
“Make no mistake, this is a tough game, a tough business,” Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said after the game, which ended in a 23-20 Steelers victory. “5-0 [Shazier] is our brother, our thoughts and prayers are out to him.”
Shazier lowered his head to make a hit on a pass to Bengals receiver Josh Malone over the middle early in the first quarter. He hit Malone and fell to the ground. He grabbed at the middle of his back, then rolled himself over with his upper body. His legs didn’t appear to move after he rolled himself over.
— NYSportsCast (@NYSportCast) December 5, 2017
Shazier was put on a backboard and put on a cart, then he was taken off the field. The game was delayed about five minutes while he was being tended to.
Shazier is a former first-round pick out of Ohio State and one of the best inside linebackers in the NFL. He was having a career year in his fourth season, for a Steelers team with Super Bowl hopes.
Many of the Steelers players looked shaken on the field as they kneeled around Shazier, and Shazier’s teammates on the sideline showed obvious concern as well. Others around the NFL tweeted their best wishes.
Shazier’s father, Vernon, tweeted:
— Vernon J. Shazier (@VernonShazier) December 5, 2017
Other league reaction on social media:
Prayers out for Shazier.. never like to see that playing this game
Our thoughts and prayers are with @Steelers LB Ryan Shazier.
Wow prayers to shazier never wanna see that. Lord please look over him right now
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