Ryan Shazier holds out hope to resume career, be ‘best linebacker in the NFL’
Ryan Shazier won’t play football for a second consecutive season while he rehabilitates a spinal cord injury that partially paralyzed him in December 2017.
His goals, however, remain unchanged.
Not only does the 26-year-old inside linebacker plan a return to the Pittsburgh Steelers and the NFL, he plans on reaching the sport’s pinnacle.
“I still want to make the Hall of Fame, still want to be the best linebacker in the NFL,” Shazier told the Sun-Sentinel in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., in a story published Wednesday. “I’m not giving up on my goals, and the doctors said don’t give up on my goals, so there’s no problem with me doing that. I’m just going to keep working, and hopefully I’m going to be back as soon as I can.”
Shazier will spend the 2019 season on the physically unable to perform list, but he remains on the Steelers roster so he continue his rehabilitation while being covered under the NFL’s medical plan. Shazier has not placed a timetable on his return.
After not being able to walk for several months following his injury while making a tackle in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Shazier posted a video on his social media accounts this offseason in which he did some light jogging.
Shazier traveled to his alma mater, Plantation High School, in south Florida and was a special guest at a camp conducted by his personal trainer, Jerome Howard, a high-school teammate and friend since they were in the eighth grade.
Ryan Shazier yesterday instructing young football players through back exercises at his HS alma mater Plantation High.
He was helping trainer and childhood friend Jerome Howard at his camp. Story dropping soon on how their bond has pushed Shazier in his comeback from injury. pic.twitter.com/ALakHsAuCk
— David Furones (@DavidFurones_) June 25, 2019
At the camp for the school’s football players, Shazier demonstrated a TRX row, an exercise that strengthens back muscles.
“I try to be appreciative of every day I get,” Shazier told the Sun-Sentinel. “Because every day I’m beating the odds. Every day I’m getting better, proving people wrong that never thought I’d be where I am. I constantly am proud of where I’m at. There are some moments that people see that are a little bigger than others. I set goals, but every day that I take another step, take another breath, I’m truly thankful and praise God for that.”
Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .