Steelers LB Ryan Shazier Underwent Spinal Stabilization Surgery Wednesday Night

The Pittsburgh Steelers updated the status of linebacker Ryan Shazier Thursday afternoon via a short statement.

According to the team’s release, Shazier underwent spinal stabilization surgery Wednesday night at UPMC and the procedure was performed by neurosurgeons and team physicians David Okonkwo and Joseph Maroon.

While nothing has been made official, it would appear as though Shazier’s 2017 season has come to an end as a result of the spine injury he suffered during the first quarter of the Monday night game against the Cincinnati Bengals. For now, all we can do is continue to hope and pray that he’ll continue to make improvements in his attempt to live a normal life again and perhaps ultimately be allowed to continue his football career.

Shazier suffered his injury Monday night while attempting to tackle Bengals wide receiver Josh Malone following a short completion to the middle of the field.

After suffering his injury, Shazier was removed from the field on a cart while strapped to flat board. He was then transported by an ambulance to a Cincinnati hospital and he remained there through Tuesday night. On Wednesday, Shazier was reportedly airlifted to UPMC in Pittsburgh.

Shazier, who was drafted by the Steelers in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft out of Ohio State, had his fifth-year option picked up by the team this past offseason.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    Not good.

  • Aaron H

    Well, this almost certainly means he is out for the season and maybe forever. I pray that he is able to regain normal function going forward.

  • kdubs412

    Tragic. Don’t know what else to say

  • mape_ape

    Get well, Shazier. See you next season.

  • falconsaftey43

    hopefully he sees a full recovery

  • The Tony

    Get well Shazier

  • steelersfan


  • PaeperCup

    Get well soon Ryan!

  • StillersInThe6

    Geez, I knew it was too early to start getting excited about a full recovery. At this point I’m sure most of Steeler Nation would be ecstatic to never see him in a black and gold uniform again so long as he can live a normal life.

  • Timothy Rea

    Absolutely terrible. That poor young man.

  • PaeperCup

    I’m not familiar with the recovery aspects of this injury and subsequent surgery. But are we sure that he can’t make a full or close to full recovery in time?

  • Timothy Rea

    Gotta think that Mitchell’s & Pouncey’s comments are stemming from knowing about this before we as fans did. They knew how serious it is and are understandably upset and airing out some things.

  • Steel City Slim

    I just pray that he makes a full recovery.

  • dany

    If we don’t see an IR statement sure people will start getting excited. So to deviate the attention, fan favorite Dangerfield might come back

  • The Tony

    What were their comments?

  • ThatGuy

    Absolutely devastating news. I hope he makes a full recovery, football is irrelevant. I just hope he can play with his child in the future.
    Get well soon 5-0!!!

  • heath miller

    God this is so hard … last three times i cried .. 1985 when my mom died.. 2010 when we put my dog to sleep and NOW…… HEEEEEEATH 🙁

  • MP34

    Best wishes to Ryan Shazier and his family, for his recovery and his future.

  • John

    Best wishes to Shazier. Hopes for a long and fruitful life. ILB just became our position of need in round one of draft next year.

  • Timothy Rea

    Mitchell had various things to say about NFL, Hits, Penalties, Suspensions, Goodell. Sounded completely pissed off, irritated, angry,, Things a young guy feels when something happens to someone they care about. Pouncey said that Gronk should be suspended 3 games and complained about JuJu’s suspension. I doubt they publicly air this stuff otherwise as any time you throw shade at the commish it could be interpreted as conduct detrimental to the league.

  • Petherson Silveira

    Get Health man! Love you!

  • Michael Mosgrove

    Nah. Qb. Safety. Tight end still bigger needs.

  • StrengthOfVictory

    I don’t mean to trivialize this at all, but I imagine the Steelers will now being playing for two men—Art Rooney and Ryan Shazier.

  • Grant Humphrey

    So his career still could be over then. I just hope he’ll be able to walk normally.

  • heath miller

    at least its just something that just happened .. nothing that burfuk or pac man or suggs did .. where we would all demand a bounty on them …. amazing and he didnt even knock the runner off his feet .. not like it was a hit that just blew the runner away .. i think we lost 2 players on that one … i think ryan has a better chance to retrun now than ben next year.. you could see ben on the sidelines …emotional thinking of ryan and then thinking that could have been me … i’d be shocked now if ben came back next season .. absolutely shocked .. HEEEATH

  • FATCAT716

    Just thinking the same thing

  • Reader783

    In time for what?

  • nutty32

    The good news is that it sounds like they are fixing structural stuff like disks and bones v. the cord itself?
    Everything I read on other sites sound positive, too.
    He should have cut weight & been a strong safety all along. Seemed pretty clear his body wasn’t holding up to the constant pounding inside.

  • Ed McConnell

    Speedy and complete recovery. Football career is an after thought.

  • hdogg48

    I just read on NFL.COM about this injury and subsequent

    They cited 3 players that had this (none noteworthy).
    All returned to normal functions, and ALL retired from
    the NFL.

  • nutty32

    Surgery means they cut you open—>season is over. Scopes are just small holes, but regular surgeries need time to heal.

  • FATCAT716

    What??? This has absolutely nothing to do with the position he was playing or not being able to hold smh were you watching Monday? That was a football injury could have happened to anyone

  • PaeperCup

    in due time.

  • Grant Humphrey

    Let’s go win a Super Bowl for him.

  • NinjaMountie

    I think you’re getting a little too far in the speculation with Ben. He is a QB after all. How many QBs are going to get Shazier’s injury? While it’s scary I do think he recognizes he’s a QB and not a LB.
    Personally, I don’t think Shazier is ever playing again. As the Doc said, ” …And of course the primary concern is his overall recovery, not his career. It all depends on how the nerves are recovery. Have to hope for the best.”

  • PaeperCup

    the question is, will he ever play football again.

  • Mister Wirez

    Man, I feel awful. I sincerely hope he can play again for his sake.

    This hits me like the Gabe Rivera incident. For you younger guys that don’t know, Rivera was a Steeler in the early 80’s that was in a car wreck in his rookie year and paralyzed… He was the 1st rounder, they took OVER Dan Marino.

  • NinjaMountie

    I just hope he can walk again someday. Heck with football.

  • nutty32

    I dunno, man. Those guys inside take a pretty good pounding from 300lbers on every darn play. The whole spine chain gets compressed over time. He was also made to bulk up past his normal skeletal tolerance & that just weakens everything over time. He was good enough of an athlete and football player to be a stud playing in space.

  • Mister Wirez

    Ahh, that’s great info, thank you.

  • StillersInThe6

    I don’t think anyone knows that yet. But even if he does make a full recovery, I wouldn’t be disappointed in the slightest if he opted not to play again.

    I think the fact that he’s undergoing surgery means they haven’t seen the progress they were hoping for, and with nerves, I’m assuming all bets are off (with respect to a full recovery).

  • Reader783

    I mean I don’t think this surgery means his career is 100%, definitely over. I think his season is more likely than not over. We won’t know anything about his ability to play until we are told it, but I would say this surgery does not rule it out. Players have had surgeries similar before and returned to regular motor function, but they all have tended to retire on their own accord. I am still hopeful that he will regain motor function and his return to football is his decision.

  • Mister Wirez

    I think his technique caused this injury

  • nutty32

    “Senor Sack” Very sad story.

  • StillersInThe6

    What a story that would be, if this defense rallies around this loss and gets one ‘for him’.

  • FATCAT716

    He could have had that injury from the safety position. And again it was more about the position of his head & the part of the body he hit. Rather you weighed 300LBS or 100LBs the game of football is dangerous

  • lonnie

    Going to miss him, we really needed him for our hopes of winning #7 but what’s far more important is for him to recover and be able to live a normal life. I hope he retires. Life is way more important.

  • Renohightower

    feel bad for him Dave/Alex/Matthew what does this mean for his long term healthcare as he did not complete 5 seasons in the NFL yet? Im sure the Steelers will take care of him should he not be able to continue his career

  • PaeperCup

    I don’t know the history of this type of surgery in the NFL, but my first thought went to Peyton’s neck surgery. He didn’t come back 100%, but played at a high level and won a super bowl. Wouldn’t that be nice.

    But of course, jsut to echo everyone else, we are just hoping for him able to walk again.

  • nutty32

    Yeah that too. He spears on pretty much every tackle.

  • FATCAT716

    Thx for that info

  • Mister Wirez

    It just might be the brotherhood bond that pushes them over the top. LET’S DO IT!

  • heath miller

    for what this worth and he is NOT returning to a normal occupation / life…. but this is what i found .. 6 weeks to a normal person…. Recovery from Stabilization Surgery
    In terms of recovery time, dynamic stabilization is comparable to traditional fusion surgeries. Many patients will be released from care the same day, though some may be required to stay a day or two for observation, depending on their progress healing and any other underlying conditions. For instance, smokers often have a much slower healing factor, and this may be cause for concern in your case. If there are additional procedures done during your surgery, these will also add to the recovery time required.
    Most patients are able to return to their normal routines within six weeks, but this varies considerably from one patient to another. It is important that you do not engage in any activity that Dr. Patel has not released you for, or you risk complicating the healing process.

  • John A Stewart

    Who cares I want him to walk again

  • StillersInThe6

    Would be cool to see someone on the defense (or the entire defense!) go shirtless for warmups ROS as a tribute!

  • Grant Humphrey

    Get one for Dan and Shazier.

  • Talyn Scarbrough

    I just hope he’s okay but I’m assuming this is more of a spinal decompression surgery. Meaning he could be back in 1 to 3 months. Let’s say he’s done for the season but there’s like a 1% chance he could be back for the end of the postseason. Football is a rough sport so I wouldn’t hang onto that hope of returning this season.

  • heath miller

    right always tackled with his dead down . thats a No No …

  • PaeperCup

    of course. But yes we do care whether or not he plays football. That’s his life, and losing that is devastating in itself.

  • FATCAT716

    Thx I’ll be shirtless for this game in his honor

  • PaeperCup

    good questions, put it in Alex’s mailbag.

  • T3xassteelers

    Prayers for the Shazier family. I wore my Shazier jersey Tuesday for him.

  • Jeff Papiernik

    Retired from the NFL because of the injury?

  • T3xassteelers

    Meaning they retired the following year? Who are the players?

  • Rusted Out

    Ben had a spinal concussion at the end of the 09 season. I’m not sure if the commentor above was referring to that, but I’m sure Ben can at least relate to this injury. I’m with you though, I think it silly to speculate on this having any baring on Ben’s decision to continue playing or not.

  • michael young

    My vote: J Wobble. Big dudes need shirtless love too…..

  • T3xassteelers

    If Shazier cant return, i’d put ILB above all those personally, only QB i would take before but that’s just because of the importance of it

  • heath miller

    well ninja .. i mean u look at that play .. he didnt even hit the guy hard enough to knock him off his feet.. that injury could come playing with the kids or dog in the back yard.. it wasnt likehe put a devastating hit on the guy … it just happened

  • EdJHJr

    I’m hoping he is ok. Get well soon

  • Sam Clonch

    I have faith the Rooney’s aren’t going to leave him hanging. He’ll be taken care of. Worth remembering that the Steelers DID already pick up his 5th year option, which is a fully guaranteed $8.7 mill in the event of injury.

  • Steelerbob

    This is the first thing i thought of when Shazier went down. I immediately thought about Gabe Rivera. Im sure others of a certain age did too. of course, not the same circumstances in that Rivera was driving drunk, but still hard to imagine being so young and having your life change forever that fast.

  • Edjhjr

    very bad. I just wish , well he always went in head down. So everyone should stop that habit. Not necessary.

  • John Noh

    The big difference being – wasn’t Rivera a DUI case? Shaz got hurt in the line of duty.

  • will

    Agree….this is very sad! May you walk again Ryan.

  • Rye Stye

    That seems very reasonable. Too risky to continue. I would love to see him out there again as he was a great talent, but I think he might call it a career. I will always appreciate and respect what he gave on the field for the Steelers.

  • Jaybird

    I just talked to a couple of the radiologist I work with and they said if hardware has been placed in his spine that he probably won’t ever play again.
    I’m not confident he will ever play again, and to be honest , I just want the guy to walk and be normal.

  • PghDSF

    This is the surgery Dr Maroon most likely did on him. This info is from
    the UPMC site.

    Dynamic Lumbar Spine Stabilization Surgery

    What Is Dynamic Lumber Spine Stabilization?

    Dynamic lumbar spine stabilization is a surgical technique that
    stabilizes the spine with flexible materials to allow for more mobility
    in the spine than traditional spinal fusion surgery. Dynamic spine
    stabilization is a growing area of lumbar spine surgery because it can
    reduce some of the problems inherent with metal implants, such as disc
    degeneration in the discs next to the fusion site.

    Dynamic stabilization uses rods made of flexible materials to
    stabilize the affected level of the spine. The flexible portion of the
    rod limits motion between the vertebrae, but it does not completely
    eliminate movement. This technique also reduces the load on the spine’s
    joints and discs, which may reduce pain and improve the recovery time
    after your surgical procedure.

    UPMC neurosurgeons recommend spinal stabilization when the
    movement of a damaged spinal disc causes pain or if a condition such as
    spondylolisthesis allows the spine to become unstable. It may also be
    needed if a patient undergoes surgery to remove of the normal
    stabilizing structures of the spine.

    When the spine is unstable, excessive motion can cause the nerves
    adjacent to the spinal column to be pinched, leading to leg pain,
    numbness, and weakness. By stabilizing the spinal column, abnormal
    motion of the spinal segments is limited.​

  • TrappenWeisseGuy ;

    I would think that the prudent thing to do, given the position he plays and the likelihood of further injury, would be to retire. If he were a kicker that would be a different story. Don’t want to mess around with the spine unless you want to be in a wheelchair.

  • Jaybird

    That for “normal” people , not Inside Linebackers.
    If he had fusion , I can’t see how he could ever play again. Peyton manning did , but he’s a QB. I’m not sure it’s very safe to play linebacker with hardware in your spine.

  • Kevin artis

    Yeah I wrote the same on a previous post. ILB, safety and TE would be my priority order.

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    I wish I could agree with you but after it happened and when they reported that the patient didn’t want his status known i kinda figured it was bad and not only that if he is able to gain full recovery I’m guessing that he’s gonna announce his retirement because of the severity and his health is way more important than the game itself here’s hoping for a full recovery

  • O’Neal

    Well at least he is guaranteed the 12? million for his fifth year option. I highly doubt he will ever play again. Sad because he was really coming into his own this year.

  • Steeldog22

    One was probably Jermichael Finley who reportedly turned down the Steelers small interest in him on return and cashed in on his $10M insurance policy instead.

  • Junaid Mahmud

    Shazier is a beast. The most gifted and athletic lb in the NFL. No one even comes close. Honestly so mad right now. Spence has some big shoes to fill.

  • Joeybaggadonuts


  • KiJana Haney

    thanks for the information.

  • KiJana Haney

    I hope the man gets the money that was allocated to him for next year. I want to seee him play again but I don’t think it is best for him too. I just want him to live a happy and fruitful life.

  • Matt Manzo

    Damn it! I know his health and well being should be top priority! But I can’t help but cry about how this affects our season. He was a vital piece of this defense.
    I’m not too worried about VW. Maybe Fort busts out and turns into a superstar? Other than that I’m pretty bummed about our ILB situation going into the hardest part of the season.
    I’m not even sure that Fort is gonna get the start. I could see Spence getting the nod just because of coach familiarity.

  • rystorm06

    Yep, coaches down to the pee wee leagues always tell you NEVER to tackle with your head down or this could happen.

  • mape_ape

    I’ll get over you… I know I will I’ll pretend my ship’s not sinking And I’ll tell myself I’m over you ‘Cause I’m the king of wishful thinking…

  • Darth Blount 47

    Steeler Nation must now officially begin our stages of grief.


  • Rob Erickson

    I’m not sure I agree with your assessment. Not the first time Shazier has tackled with the crown of his helmet. Poor tackling technique resulted in this injury. A consistently sound tackler wouldn’t be as likely to suffer this injury.

  • Ichabod

    I still am struggling with Ryan’s situation. I hope and pray he is able to live an active life being able to do and enjoy all normal activities that this life offers.
    I don’t think he’ll play again, but miracles happen.
    May God bless Ryan and family

  • SkoolHouseRoxx

    Dear Lord, Our Heavenly Father,
    I’m coming to you Lord with a troubled heart. I come to you torn inside. We need you today, Dear Heavenly Father! We have a brother fallen, Lord! Wrap your Loving Arms around him, Father, not for our sake, but for him and his family! Strengthen him, Lord! Build him up where he’s torn down! Strengthen his family, Lord and lighten their load. In Jesus name we pray, Amen! 🙏

  • Jay Clam

    I’m just devastated for this man. I hope that, if he’s able to walk and have a normal life, that he becomes a coach or something and stays around the game. He has so much to offer the sport. Prayers are flowing for him and his family.

  • heath miller

    dunno? guess we all just wait and seee.. as i clearely stated he dont have a “normal” job .. so is the “normal 6 weeks” … 6 months or 6 years or never for a LBer.. but .. on the bright side it sounds like he will be able to walk and lead a normal NON LB life with his family … so the good news is he will return to a normal non FB life and the bonus is if he can ever come back to play FB .. thats the cherry on top .. but he played a speed game .. will he have the same speed ever again ? again .. who knows

  • I4giveSteelers

    It is my hope, that Shaziers tackling form will start to be taught at the pee wee level on how Not to tackle. Get Well soon Ryan.

  • PittShawnC

    Take it for what it’s worth, but Dr. Anothony Alessi (cited above) does not have access to Shazier’s medical records, so that’s strictly his opinion as a neurologist.

  • John Noh

    I’m already there, brother.

  • afrazier9

    Man this was a heart breaking loss for the team, but man i am really pulling for him to recover and have some normalcy in his life. i could only imagine what he , and his family are going through. #RYANSTRONG

  • Doug Andrews

    Praying for you Shaz. Wanting a normal life for you and your family

  • AndyR34

    GODell is the street definition of conduct detrimental to the league.

  • ryan72384

    Man this is devastating news. It really doesn’t sound good at all. That image of Ryan grabbing his back and rolling over is like forever burned into my mind. The absolute heart and soul of our defense. I hope this lights an emotional fire under our teams ass that carries us all the way to number 7 and Ryan gets to walk up onto that podium to a standing ovation from Steeler Nation during our victory celebration. Get well brother.

  • Dr. DG

    Bad news.
    Prayers for full recovery.
    Not even thinking about football or “the season” anymore for Ryan.
    Prayers & Well-wishes…

  • Sdale

    I just visited a friend of mine last night that had a much more severe accident, but very similar situation with the nerve damage/swelling. He was in a coma for a week and has had several fusion/stabilization surgeries. His accident was in July and he just walked for the first time last week and everyone’s ecstatic about it. It puts things in perspective when you sit down with someone like that. I certainly hope Ryan Shazier’s injury is nothing like this and he’s able to recover everything he needs to have a fulfilling life.

  • Zarbor

    Glad he is in good hands. I’m hopeful he will be fine after the surgery and he heals up. Agreed with Tomlin. He’s a tough dude. Football comments are out of place for me. Staying positive that he will have a full recovery. Prayed up for Shaze#50

  • NinjaMountie

    You’re absolutely right. No one really knows. However, his opinion is much more viable than any of ours. I just want him to recover and have as close to a normal life as possible. To heck with football. I’d never play again if I were him.

  • SoCal Steeler

    Not the best of news but still praying for a full recovery for him. Get well soon, Ryan, may God bless you and your family.

  • DoctorNoah

    Hopefully he will have good neurological recovery — I am a little concerned that there has been no update on this from the medical staff, which only suggests the worst.

    With “stabilization” we are talking a 3-4 level fusion in all likelihood. The risk of reinjury above or below that level makes the idea of him returning to football highly unlikely.

    Just my $0.02 as a practicing orthopaedic surgeon. He is in our prayers.

  • PittShawnC

    Absolutely it is, even if any of us stayed a Holiday Inn Express last night.

    Dr David Chao is a really good follow on Twitter (17yr NFL team doc, practicing racticing orthopedic surgeon). Everything he writes is published in the San Diego Union Tribune site.

    His opinion is: “The best-case scenario of a spinal cord concussion and early recovery
    are gone. Let’s hope for the next-best possibility of a great result
    from surgery and full neurologic recovery over the next 4-6 months.”

    And yeah Ninja, as a LB, I’d retire. Agree 100%

  • Lee Foo Young

    I was really hoping for a TommyMaddox-like spinal contusion for the Steelers sake. Now,I am just praying that he can live a normal life.

  • 太阳三联

    Hurt by this..

  • Steven Vincent

    Totally heartbreaking. But I know by God he can and will come all the way back. It will happen.

  • Bradys_Dad


  • Michael Mosgrove

    reminds me of the gerry bertier injury. aside from gerry being in a car accident.

  • 6 ring circus

    Prayers up for #50…

  • thomas hmmmm

    I don’t expect him to play again but what are his chances of full recovery for a normal life?

  • Obi Ryn Denobi

    As long as he can walk and have a ‘normal’ life, football be damned!

  • Mike Lloyd

    Need to put away thoughts about Ryan Shazier the football player, and start thinking about Ryan Shazier the human being.

  • Steelerfan4lifeinAZ

    I’m proud to say that i have #50 jersey… Forever thinking about you and will always wear my jersey proudly. Get better.. Health and Family First !!!

  • Jaybird

    Heath I think the surgery you mentioned was more for someone who had a bad disc herniation. They remove the disc, fuse the vertebra with a bone graft, and put plates and screws to stabilize the fused vertebra. Those people don’t have cord injury or damage to the spinal column. That makes it much more serious.
    Shazier had some sort of cord injury( hopefully he recovers fully) due to Trauma to the vertebra. I hope it’s not the worst case scenario.

    I feel kind of guilty getting so much enjoyment out of football when things like this can happen to these guys.

  • WilliamSekinger

    My thoughts and prayers are with Ryan tonight. So glad to hear he is surrounded by friends and family, and that he is spiritually healthy. Shalieve!

  • Jaybird

    Having to stabilize those bony structures is actually a bad thing. It means a more serious injury to those bony structures ( vertebrae ). Fracture bone is VERY sharp and can cut or sever the cord. The same goes for vertebral dislocation – it can do major damage to the cord.
    I was really hoping for no surgery and that by yesterday Shaz would have posted a picture of himself moving his legs. I’m totally bummed by this .

  • nutty32

    I’ve read reports that he is already moving his legs & the nerves have largely recovered. They’re just fixing up the breaks in the bone & disks so it doesn’t happen again. Apparently, he’s likely to play again unless the spine issues are congenital and he had an inherent back defect that was revealed by the injury. Most doctors are saying that it’s looking good for normal life activities.

  • Rick McClelland

    I just hope he is okay and continue a normal life. Maybe his sports career and dreams go away, but living a normal life like the rest of us and that is not always a bad thing.

  • Jason Vancil

    This is tough. I am old enough to remember Gabe Riveras’ crash and paralysis. It was a big loss of a young talented player. I hope we won’t see the same here. Just heartbreaking. And from a selfish stand point, what a loss for this young D. I mean, he is the straw that stirs it on that side of the ball.

  • steeel

    His career is over. I wish himself he best. He changed our defense. He won’t easily be replaced. Godspeed to you Ryan.

  • Joe

    Let’s be realistic here. It’s very likely he will never play football again. Simply hoping he can walk and live a normal life.
    The organization must move forward without him. Scout more closely the ILB prospects because it has now become a position of need.
    This is a difficult loss to overcome. I want to believe this will strengthen their resolve and sharpen their focus.
    Will this solve the communication breakdowns, missed tackles, dropped balls, etc? My heart says yes but my head says no.

  • steeel

    NO he won’t. Please google this surgery. He was close to paralysis. My daughter had this surgery due to car crash at age 29. Football is over. Wish it wasn’t so. But too dangerous, and he would never be the same. He likely had ride and pins in back

  • T R

    well thang good he was a number 1 pick so he got a first contract that was pretty damn good.. but its a shame.. we going really miss him

  • Bartley Walter

    Nobody in their right my can be putting 50 and football in the same sentence. Me personally im just praying my guy have a full recovery with no damages to his spine and nerves. Praying for my guy 50. May God bless you with health and strength!! Steelers Forever!!!

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Is it guaranteed? I’m a little unclear on what the term “guaranteed for injury” means (on an option contract) if he’s injured BEFORE the start of the new season.

  • gentry_gee

    Huge loss for this D. Poor guy. He was having a great run of games and overall health after struggling to stay healthy. I’m afraid this could be it for him. I wish they would say if he’s walking or not. How are his extremities? It’s concerning.

  • NinjaMountie

    We picked up Shazier’s fifth year option and he’s due 8 million next season. There isn’t anyway for the Steelers to get out of this is there? I hope not and I don’t think they would try. I think he’s probably done with football and this would be a nice chunk of change for him to have.
    Still praying he recovers full movement and I hope he decides to hang it up for his health.

  • NinjaMountie

    I ordered one. He is a classy guy and I’m certain he’ll have a place in the Steelers family for a long time even though it probably will not be on the field.

  • NinjaMountie

    Yup, time for him to start a coaching career!! I just have to believe he’s going to recover enough to lead a normal life!

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Last year we had a number of threads talking about the “need” to re-sign Lawrence Timmons.

    Many of us argued that (6th rounder) Vince Williams could fill in just fine. Others disagreed. Kevin Colbert was so unsure of Vince Williams he tried to sign Dante Hightower for $10+ million per year. (Luckily that attempt failed.) The fellow players, on the other hand, seemed to have much more confidence in Williams.

    In 12 games this year, Vince Williams has registered 50 solo tackles (67 total) and 7 sacks, which is almost exactly the same total as Timmons down in Miami (minus the sacks). I’m not saying stats are everything, but Williams’ production has been pretty damn impressive, in my opinion, at a third of the cost. He has looked fast and physical and instinctive when you watch him on film. He is an emotional leader. And he is making very few major errors.

    My point is, we never know for sure how a player will perform until we put him on the field and let him play. That’s how Mike Hilton won the job at nickel CB. I am fully willing to give Fort and Spence their shots. But if they are not able to excel quickly, we need to make another move.

    Lastly I will say, that drafting a LB in the 1st round makes ZERO guarantee of his performance. Jarvis Jones was a 1st rounder. Bud Dupree was a 1st rounder. Neither of them have lived up to their draft status in my opinion. Meanwhile Williams (6th rounder) has played fantastic.

    We had a chance to sign Zach Brown as a free agent. He signed with the Redskins (1 year $2.3 million + SB) and is currently leading the league in tackles (117).

    I absolutely agree that Shazier’s health is the first priority. We are all rooting for him to recover. HIs health and family comes first. Football comes second. But his words (out of his own mouth) were “Beat the Ravens.” And the best way the front office can honor him is by filling in the gap, both right now and this off season. Nothing would make me happier than to see Shazier fully recover AND get a Super Bowl ring.

  • Nunya

    I could care less if he ever plays the game at this point. I pray he just regains complete health and can’t enjoy his life without pain. This is much more than football.

  • TrappenWeisseGuy ;

    There’s probably some sort of insurance policy for situations like this. If it was his last game at least he achieved his dream and played in the league for what is probably an average length career.

  • pittsburghjoe

    Amen, bro… Amen.

  • pittfan

    Amen Roxx.

  • heath miller

    i would love to see all the steelers come out of the tunnel shirtless in honor of ryan .. then have all the steelers fans take off their shirts for 5 0 seconds when the opening kick off takes place .. what a great tribute to 5 0 (womn could wear a bikini top …. or not lol their choice) HEEEEATH

  • John Smith

    none of it is guaranteed. And money should not be the first thing you think of.

  • TrappenWeisseGuy ;

    He is a young highly conditioned athlete with good blood flow throughout his body. I would be stunned if he cannot return to a normal life over time. As for football, I would have grave misgivings about him ever lacing them up again given that he has to hit people for a living. He also had several stinger injuries throughout his career. Greyhound body for a Mack truck position unfortunately.

  • pittfan

    Wow, what a depressing day. +1,000,000 on the comments hoping for his full recovery, football be damned. #50 will forever be etched into Steeler Nations Heart.

  • pittfan

    With all due respect, Ninja has been following Ryan’s injury from the second it happened on Monday night. I think he is expressing hope that Ryan will be good for life, which I think he will. You can’t be with a better sports organization than the Steelrs taking care of their own.

  • NinjaMountie

    Huh, why isn’t any of it guaranteed? Why should I not think about money for him?

  • Luke Shabro

    Not worried about Shaziers football career. Worried about the guys ability to walk and have a normal life. I really hope he makes a full recovery. What a great guy. I think Adidi said he has kids too? Or a kid? Hope for all the best for him and his family

  • steeel

    He is not playing again. Just stop it. Do you understand what it takes to stabilize fractured, unstabiluzed vertebrae? Pray that he has minimal pain the rest of his life and enjoys life. The NFL is over if he had that surgery. Please stop with football-related comments if his NFL future. He is extremely lucky to not have paralysis. He will have rods a

  • NinjaMountie

    Have you heard something to indicate he doesn’t have paralysis? That would be great news.

  • steeel

    And pins. He cannot do crazy physical things like the NFL. Love the guy but it is over in the NFL but thank God he will be walking and running again

  • Luke Shabro


  • Chad Sanborn

    A dislocated spine is a serious injury. The spinal bones must line up in a column and to dislocate them means they have moved away from that vertical column to a misaligned or stacked position. That means the cord inside is also forced to move and gets pinched (in a good scenario) or torn/severed (in a worse case scenario) The stabilization surgery moves the discs back into position where they are held in place with a plate or system of rods. Since we don’t know the severity of the dislocation, we don’t know how bad the spinal cord was injured. Hopefully it was just pinched causing temporary paralysis. In which case once the swelling goes down and the cord heals he will regain movement and probably lead a normal life. If the cord was torn then he could still heal up and end up with a normal life but it will take longer to heal with more physical therapy to relearn to walk. If it was severed then he will never walk again. I pray that it was just a pinch and he will be fine after it heals. Football be damned, I just want him to be normal.

  • Labrat0116

    What is your Medical background Sir ?

  • King Black

    Hope he has the speediest and best possible recovery but I’d be lying if i said i didn’t see some form of this coming. His tackling (and i use that word loosely) has to me always seem to be plagued with poor head placement and just form overall. Good tackling is an art and Shazier is trying to paint the Mona Lisa with broom for a brush.

  • steeel

    He is right. My daughter had it When she was 19. Wrote earlier on this (typo of 29). Rods and pins. She was a sliver from paralysis. She runs now, works out, but still suffers episodes of pain and takes way too many meds for my liking. I hope Ryan, like all of us, just returns to average lifestyle

  • Labrat0116

    Please DELETE everything you wrote AFTER the word RECOVERY.

    Thank you for being considerate.

  • Gyborg

    I’m sure he has insurance & I’d be amazed if the NFL & NFLPA has not taken care of the insurance for players.
    Plenty of cases here in the U.K. where young players have suffered career ending injuries and assumed future earnings are taken into account. Regardless – he will not be worse off financially.

    Of course money is not the important thing here. His health and well being are.

    Let’s not write him off completely yet though. Unfair to him to do so. He’s a tough dude.

  • Cwallace

    Don’t pay him any mind Ninja..your thinking of the young mans financial future ststability as well as his health…nothing wrong with that.

  • NinjaMountie

    Thanks for understanding my meaning.

  • Cwallace

    Man Jason i remember that as well. I was in my junior year reading a USA today paper on the way to class. I left class early that day. God Bless Ryan Shazier.

  • Cwallace

    Oh I’m just praying so much for 50. Please God let this pass from this young man who has faced a unique and scrutinized existence with the valor of a champion and pray you consider every prayer strictly and just for Ryan Shazier the man.

  • PaeperCup

    Makes me think,

    Is this surgery to repair damage or is it to prevent damage during the healing process?

  • Chad Weiss

    Fifth year options are not guaranteed unless injury so I’m pretty sure he gets that money but not positive.
    Three guys I know of suffered similiar injuries and we’re all cleared to play aain. Finley -but never returned,Harris rb Giants returned only to suffer neck stinger in pre season and adv

  • PaeperCup

    Returned to normal function, but retired. Is that because there is a higher risk of injury, or because the players chose not to take any more risks?

    Also if they are not noteworthy, would their decision to retire be heightened because their career wasn’t going to amount to much anyways?

  • PaeperCup

    oh yeah FInley….did have this surgery?

  • Dan

    Sure are a lot of people making declarations about his future based on two brief official statements. Modern day Nostrafreakingdamuses are ya?

  • Jaybird

    Lol, just let me know which day you are going to organize the shirtless day so I don’t go to that game with my daughter.
    That would be pretty cool to see the team do something like that though.

  • capehouse


  • Jaybird

    I’m not a doctor , I didn’t even play one on TV. But I do image these kind of things( I’m an MRI Tech) and I’ve asked a few of my Boss’s who are radiologist and a couple of other Doctors I see around work, and they say it’s both. if there is broken bone – it’s incredible sharp and could cut the cord. They also have to relieve any pressure on the cord (cord compression) if there is any. And they have to stabilize the spine so that vertebrae don’t shift or move any further and cause move damage( if there is damage to the spinal column) .
    But hey Paeper – I know as much info about his injury as you. I’m just going by what doctors say are reason for spinal fusion. I was really bummed to hear that Shaz had surgery though. I was so hoping that I would read an update yesterday that he was up and starting to walk.

  • Jaybird

    I hope your right Nutty. I really do.

  • Phil Brenneman II

    Why? He is right and it is worth discussing. As terrible as the situation is Shazier brought this on himself and it might be worth it for players to consider more practice time and what not in the upcoming negotiations with the league so they can work on avoiding just this type of thing.

    As Tomlin always says these things can be teachable moments and this is one of them. You can pray for the guy and feel for the guy and hope he recovers while at the same time having a serious discussion about why it happened and how to help prevent it in the future.

  • Jaybird

    Peyton is the only player I can think of that had spinal fusion and came back to play. But he had a disc removed, a bone graft placed where the disc used to be , then plates and screws to stabilize the spine. Peyton didn’t have any trauma to the spine like Shaz did. I don’t know the extent of Shaz’s injury, but trauma to the vertebra and a spinal cord injury is totally different than getting a disc removed a fusion like Peyton had.

  • Chad Sanborn

    I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

  • #7

    I’m not surprised at all. My initial gut feeling was this wasn’t going to end well. I believe that he’ll be fine in time, which is all that really matters, but I also believe that his career is and frankly for his own sake should be over

  • thechamp

    wow…. he was on his way to be the best ILB in the league…
    just hope he recovers fully

  • Bill

    It’s right to have this conversation. Takes nothing away from Ryan and our collective prayers for him. The still of his shot at Bernard last year had him in a very similar position. I hope going forward another player would be benched until they did this better.

  • Will

    Quiet frankly I could care less.

    The only thing I care about is that #50 is able to live a normal life.

    Even if he does make a full recovery the chance of a repeat injury would be greater I would think. Hopefully he just decided to retire and maybe can become an assistant with the Steelers or something.

  • Phil Brenneman II

    Exactly. It is just the facts of the situation. Poor tackling form lead to a very unfortunate result and hiding our heads in the sand isn’t going to help prevent it in the future.

  • Steven Vincent

    Steeler Nation, I need you on this! Do you think if we and all the world come together and #PRAY50 we can help make a big difference in Ryan Shazier’s recovery? I don’t think it, I know it! It starts now! #Pray50. Post #PRAY50 here after you do your Prayer and maybe share your prayer and spread it on and post and tweet #Pray50! Are you in?

  • Joeybaggadonuts

    Hope and prayers for a speedy recovery to live a full life…football or no football. Who is going to put the team on their shoulders and kick some ass?

  • Dan

    I kinda liked it better when our team drama revolved around players being pissy after not getting the ball enough. 🙁

  • johnhoien

    Praying for the very best Ryan! God bless you good man.

  • heath miller

    K O TIME OF THE RAVEN GAME .. i’ll be the guy with the biggest man boobs and a 5 0 painted on my chest and back LMAO

  • Willoughby Spitt

    #Shalieve Jah Bless you & yours, Ryan.

  • Iulo

    oh dear, it has been a long and hard season in such matters….
    it must have a happy end with a new trophy!

  • Steve

    I am no doctor, but everything that I have read, there is no way this young man steps back out on a field as a player. Rods and pins holding everything together?! One hit and it could mean a lot worse. I would rather see him out on the field next season, walking, during a primetime game being honored, as he should. The meaningful parts that I have read about this type of surgery is he will be able to walk and live a normal life. That is what’s most important here. He has a fiancee and young children waiting for him at home. That’s where his mind should be, probably most definitely is. You absolutely know there is a part of his mind, because he is a warrior, that is thinking when can I suit up? For his and his family’s sake, let’s all hope, that part of his thinking goes away throughout this process. Not worth it my man. Live your life standing!!! Prayers and well wishes to the Shaziers

  • Jimbo

    sad to hear this news..hope ryan comes out in good health..bless you ryan

  • The Tony

    I wasn’t alive during Rivera’s time on the field but from clips i’ve seen wasn’t his style reminiscent of Cam Heyward?

  • Steel Realist PAul

    5 0

  • NinjaMountie

    Absolutely, Steelers are one of the best, if not the best, organizations in football. I’m certain there is a front office position waiting for him.

  • NinjaMountie

    Man, I’m on this site and others several times a day looking for some word on Shazier. Just something to say he’s improved, has movement, and is trending in a positive direction.
    Hope to hear it soon.

  • Dan

    Would certainly make for a great episode of “It’s a Football Life” someday.

  • Conserv_58

    Dang. I hope that Ryan eventually has a good quality of life. I’m going to miss him.

    It seems apparent then that the Steelers will be targetting an ILB early in the coming draft.

  • disqus_6VWOvIAZzr

    I missed seeing the hit and I don’t want to.see it. Even if someone played with proper form, players can stumble into bad form. Lots of ball carriers instinctively put their head down and tuck their bodies. This severity of injury will happen again.

    There’s enough money in football to invest in lowering risks this. I wish ‘back in the lab’ would change from a Tomlinism to a term for engineering better force diminishing equipment. I believe improvements can be made there.

    When I see a suit like Goodell or a TV talking head only talk about rules, fines and suspensions in response to player safety, they look low. It’s a put-off; hard to explain. They’d rather turn the sport into an exhibition, than solve problems.

    Best wishes to Mr. Shazier and family.

  • pittfan

    Sadly, I agree 100% and one would hope this conversation would be had MORE not less.

  • pittfan

    Unless we can get God to re-engineer the human skelteton there is not much that can be done. Best preventative measure is practicing proper form tackling.

  • pittfan

    I had a double whammy yesterday. A home I’m working on was caught up in a huge fire here. (4,000 acres) and then I log on and see the news about Ryan. DEPRESSING!!! Thankfully the home made it thru without damage but it looks like #50 will not be back on the field ever again.
    Fortunately he has the very best medical attention and I expect him to recover and lead a full productive life off the field. Positive thoughts!!!!!!!

  • disqus_6VWOvIAZzr

    I’m not in this field, but I will throw out some amateur ideas. Standardize neckrolls currently in use. Shoes and knee bracing designed to slow the players down. More absorbing pads for shoulders, knees, thighs, hips. Better helmets. And I still agree with proper form being enforced.

  • Jaybird

    Lol. Thanks for a good laugh bro. I think we kind of need that right now.

  • Axe Skot

    Spine surgery is never good.

  • Intense Camel

    Yea sometimes, but shazier has been doing that his whole career. A lot of us knew something of this nature would come sooner or later if he didn’t change his form.

  • O’Neal

    I believe it is guaranteed for any football injury so he is now guaranteed that money if he can’t play again

  • Phil Brenneman II

    No doubt it can happen to any player but players can also help to reduce the risk and Shazier specifically has a history of leading with the top of his helmet. Even a guy like Mike Mitchell who has had a few helmet to helmet hits have been more face to face than with the crown of his helmet. Like I said the other day, I think players hurt themselves in the last CBA by eliminating practice time because that is where you keep your fundamentals sharp.

    As for your point on equiptment I completely agree. The NFL and teams should be dropping a good chunk of their billions into researching better equiptment for these players. If for no other reason than they want their “investments” healthy and on the field.

  • heath miller

    hahah unfortunately i wasnt kidding hahah

  • Matt Manzo

    VW has played well above all of our expectations! Part of me is excited to see what Moats can do. And part of me wishes Kelsey was called up.
    I don’t think we need to go ILB in round 1. But I do think it’s worth looking into any prospect with a 2nd/4th round grade. Or a priority FA.

  • Joe Mama

    he’ll be okay. I hope he can play next year (or at least come back) to get the 8 million dollars he would be owed by the steelers. I don’t care if he never plays another down, I just want him to be financially stable and able to live a normal life after football. Best of luck, Ryan.