‘Boo-Boo’ Still Limiting Steelers Rookie LB Ryan Shazier

Pittsburgh Steelers rookie linebacker Ryan Shazier is back in pads but the “boo-boo” that he suffered way back on August 3rd is still preventing him from fully participating in practice.

“I’m trying to get back on the field as fast as possible,” Shazier said Monday, according to Scott Brown of ESPN.com. “I’m going to continue to work and do whatever I can to help this team.”

According to the Wednesday evening practice report filed by our very own Alex Kozora, Shazier was limited to just doing individual team drills once again and thus not permitted to take part in any contact related activities once the team began scrimmaging the Buffalo Bills. Kozora also stated that the Steelers first-round draft pick was running at about half speed Wednesday and that he was being very cautious.

The Steelers will close out their training camp practices Thursday with another scrimmage against the Bills and it won’t be surprising if Shazier isn’t allowed to fully participate once again. Should that wind up being the case, you have then wonder if he’ll be allowed to play in the teams second preseason game Saturday night at Heinz Field against the Bills.

With Shazier currently sidelined, Sean Spence is manning the starting mack linebacker spot alongside Lawrence Timmons and he appears to be handling the job well. In the preseason opener against the New York Giants, Spence played 17 snaps as the starter and registered three total tackles in his first game back since suffering a serious knee injury “boo-boo” nearly two full years ago. Should Shazier not be a go against the Bills, the Miami product should get the start once again.

Ever since the first day of OTA practices it’s been a foregone conclusion that Shazier would be the starting mack linebacker when the Steelers host the Cleveland Browns in the regular season opener. The longer the Ohio State product remains limited with his “boo-boo”, however, the more you have to wonder if Spence might be slowly earning the right to begin the season as the starter instead.

While the above scenario can certainly be deemed an overreaction, it’s plausible because we still don’t really know the severity of Shazier’s “boo-boo”. More than anything else, at least the Steelers appear to have two players that can handle the starting job. There’s still more than three weeks left until the Browns game and hopefully Shazier’s “boo-boo” is fully healed way before then so that he can get valuable preseason playing time as well.

  • Matt Manzo

    This where all that depth is paying off! It’s early and we can afford to let Shazier rest. Good reps for Spence and Garvin! We need to take a good long look at these guys.
    I just hope Shaziers leg isn’t too bad and he’s back by the third game.

  • steeltown

    I’ll say one thing, Shazier is not guaranteed to start the season opener at this point, Spence has been putting in the work and looking good doing it. I don’t care where he’s at on the depth chart if he doesn’t get healthy and play in a preseason game or two then he might be waiting for his opportunity.

  • steeltown

    Agreed. Spence’s reincarnation has been a godsend. I sure hope Shazier is ok though, it appears they are really taking it easy with him and not rushing him back.

  • Jeff Anoble

    I wonder if the Steelers knew Spence would come back this well, they would have picked Shazier instead of Dennard who is getting a lot of praise out of Cincy. Still if Spence is that good, is Shazier a future Safety with that speed?

  • Aric Brown

    Shazier needs those reps too though

  • Aric Brown

    I thought when we drafted Spence he was going to be groomed to replace Polamalu, but his injury threw a wrench in that. Now I wouldnt be surprised to see euther of those guys at the safety position… and to your point… I really dont think anybody anticipated Spence making a full recovery and still being able to play the game the way that he does… chalk one up for the good guys

  • SteelCurtN

    Prime example of why you shouldn’t name a rookie as starter prior to live action taking place.

    What if when Shazier comes back Spence still outplays the guy? Sure he has potential out the wazoo but now you are caught between a rock and a hard place having to either back pedal on naming him a starter or keeping the superior player on the bench to not shake Shazier’s confidence and not lose face with the team.

  • ApexSteel

    So according to the comments, Spence plays one preseason game since his knee injury and now he’s ready to be a starter…right. Matter of fact, Dri Archer led the team in receiving. He should be one of the starters at reciever.

  • Lil Smitty

    Right now Sean Spence has four preas

  • cencalsteeler

    I agree with you. The only thing I’d add in the mix is Garvin. It’s a toss up between he and Spence. But, one or both of them should be groomed to play safety.

  • Ken

    I’m guessing Coach Tomlin will refrain from using the word “boo-boo” in the future. He is missing serious time. I hope he gets back soon.

  • cencalsteeler

    Boo Boo = Bruised knee

  • scottb

    when do we start to worry about this boo boo? Is this a slight tear (sprain)?

  • ApexSteel

    I said since the knee injury. Those 3 games in 2012 probably feel like 10 years ago now. And there’s nothing to sort out. Shazier is the starter.

  • JohnB

    if anyone I’d put in Williams if Shazier cant play.

  • JohnB

    a small part of me thinks Tomlin is holding some of these guys back from showing their full hand so to speak. He does lil things like that.

  • Douglas Andrews

    Minor Knee procedure maybe?

  • Douglas Andrews

    Starting to wonder what this boo boo really is

  • Rubem Dornas

    Thank you!

  • SteelCurtN

    Oddly enough after re-reading the comments I still can’t find one comment that says Spence is ready to be the starter. I see some what-if scenarios but nothing like what you said.

  • joed32

    See cencalsteeler’s post above.

  • Louis Goetz

    I don’t understand your obsession with bashing Sean Spence. You rarely, if ever, pass up an opportunity to say something negative about this kid. On one hand you criticize anyone who says he’s any good because he’s a former 3rd rounder, who’s been hurt and only played one pre-season game since returning, and then on the other hand you insist that he’s not that good when you’ve got nothing to base that on. I’m pretty sure Tomlin, Butler, and the bunch kept him around all this time for a reason. And I’m even more sure that the coaches were extremely happy with his performance Saturday night. So, please, give it a rest already. We all know you don’t like Sean Spence.

  • ApexSteel

    I didn’t say I don’t like Sean Spence. This hype behind him is just ridiculous and laughable. Have you not seen these dumb scenarios people post here to get him on the field? “We should trade Timmons so Spence and Shazier can start” “They should move Shazier to Safety so Spence can start” “They should run a 2-5-4 so Spence can get on the field”. I literally saw a dude say he was one of our top 4 linebackers after ONE preseason game. I don’t criticize anyone one who says he’s good, but it’s funny when you see people say we should try some 4-3 packages to get him on the field. You know why? Because he’s not THAT good. That’s what that means.

    Sean Spence is not good enough of a player to warrant some special package to get him on the field. He doesn’t suck, he’s not bad, and I don’t want him cut. His college tape was great. He flew all over the place and he was a tackling machine, but they don’t need to go out of the way to get him on the field BECAUSE he’s not that good.

  • rn

    i’ve seen a knee bruise turn out to be a torn meniscus (which oddly enough is what happened to Warren), so i’m glad to see him back as a full participant today.