After Monday night’s game, the Steelers released a statement saying linebacker Ryan Shazier “will not require surgery at this time, and he continues to improve.” Subsequent statements have indicated the situation is more serious than the initial statement indicated.
Today the Steelers announced that Shazier did have surgery, and there was nothing in the Steelers’ more recent statement about Shazier continuing to improve.
Dr. Anthony Alessi, who consults with the NFL Players Association, told Michele Steele of ESPN that although he hasn’t examined Shazier, he does believe that Shazier’s spinal stabilization surgery is a procedure that indicates a very serious injury.
“It’s not good,” Alessi said. “We’re not going to see him this season. He may not play football again.”
Although reports on Monday night indicated that Shazier suffered a spinal contusion, Alessi said the surgery means that’s not the case.
“This is a much more severe situation on our hands than we thought,” Alessi said.
The Steelers have not said whether Shazier has any movement in his legs, or whether they expect him to recover from his injury.