Former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier has continued to hope he could one day return to the football field after suffering a severe spinal cord injury back in 2017.
However, he announced on Wednesday that he was set to officially retire from the NFL.
Shazier made his announcement with an emotional video statement on social media. Shazier said that he will now step away from the game to see what the next chapter of his life has in store.
“I am here today to make sure the world knows how much I still love football. How grateful I am for everything football game me. I am here today to let the world know that today I am officially retiring from the game I love so much,” Shazier said. “It’s been over 1,000 days since I first got hurt. To lose the game in a way I never envisioned has not been easy. When you play the game of football the way I did, you convince yourself you are Superman. That nothing can stop you. Then, the moment I got hurt, I stopped being Superman and that was difficult to make sense.
Thank You 🙏🏽… pic.twitter.com/JS3diYi2ar
— Ryan Shazier (@RyanShazier) September 9, 2020
“The way I look at it, God put us all here for a purpose. For 20 years he let me play football, and now it’s time for me to do what he wants me to do. I am going to step away from the game for a while and see what else life has to offer. I know football always will be here for me if I need it, but right now I am excited to explore some new challenges and different paths.”
Shazier was a first-round pick by the Steelers in the 2014 NFL Draft. Throughout his career, Shazier played in 46 games and recorded 275 tackles, seven sacks, 25 pass defenses and seven interceptions.