Ryan Shazier still hopes to return to the field one day, but it won’t be in 2019.
On Monday, the Pittsburgh Steelers placed Shazier on the team’s Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform List. The decision means Shazier, who also spent 2018 on the PUP list, will not be able to suit up for the Steelers in 2019.
Shazier will make nearly $500,000 in 2019, according to NFL Network.
The #Steelers placed LB Ryan Shazier on the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform List, ending his season, though they’ll still pay him nearly $500K. And we’ll continue to monitor his amazing process on social media.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 29, 2019
Shazier suffered a serious spine injury during Pittsburgh’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Dec. 4, 2017 and has not returned to the field since. While serving as a source of inspiration for the franchise, he has continued to progress in his rehabilitation with the goal of ultimately returning to the field.
Once unable to walk, Shazier posted a video himself completing a box jump earlier this month.
“We will continue to support Ryan’s efforts to return to play,” Steelers GM Kevin Colbert said in March. “Although he won’t be able to help us on the field in 2019, his leadership, insight, and emotional support have always been very valuable to us, and we look forward to his contributions in our pursuit of a championship.”
Shazier spoke with reporters at the Super Bowl in January about his aspirations.
“I definitely want to play,” Shazier said. “I try to tell people at the end of the day, just because I got hurt, doesn’t mean I lost the love of the game of football. I love football so much. I just care about the game.
“I really feel like the game has taken me places I never expected to go. I am putting everything into it. I feel like I was the best linebacker in the league. I don’t want to leave that as my legacy. I feel like I have so much to show.”
Before the injury, Shazier was one of the top young linebackers in the NFL. A first-round pick out of Ohio State in 2014, Shazier has 303 tackles, seven sacks and seven interceptions in his four seasons (46 games) as a pro. Shazier was also twice named to the Pro Bowl (2016, 2017).
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