In the first quarter of their Monday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier was carted off the field with an apparent back injury that appeared to be life-altering.
As he was attempting to make a tackle, Shazier’s neck folded like an accordion, causing his legs to go limp and for Shazier to immediately grab his lower back. Simply put, it was one of the more gruesome-looking scenes in the NFL that I can remember, leading many fans — myself included– to believe that we had just witnessed a man become paralyzed a la Eric LeGrand.
While the game carried on without a positive update about Shazier, not long after the final whistle, news broke that Shazier’s condition was improving.
According to a statement from Steelers GM Kevin Colbert, Shazier’s injury will NOT require surgery and he hopes to return to Pittsburgh today. Given the severity and visceral nature of Shazier’s injury, this news is nothing short of a miracle.
Shazier’s injury was truly horrifying– so much so that some Steelers are reportedly now “scared to play football”— so hearing that it turned out to be not as bad as it looked is a massive relief for football fans, and human beings, nationwide.
Get well soon, Ryan.