Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier has made immense progress after suffering a spinal injury during a December game against the Bengals.
Several days after the injury, he underwent spinal stabilization surgery.
Then in February, fans learned that Shazier had regained feeling in his legs and was even walking once more.
And who can forget the inspiring moment at last week’s NFL draft when Shazier, supported by his fiancée, walked across the stage and announced that the Steelers were taking safety Terrell Edmunds in the first round?
Shazier has come a long way, to be sure, but he still won’t play in 2018, with the Steelers having placed him on the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform List.
Though he might not be able to play, the Steelers did make a touching gesture to ensure that at least financially, he won’t be hurting.
Per ESPN’s Field Yates, the team converted $8.26 million of his $8.718 million base salary for the upcoming season into a signing bonus, meaning he will get it all at once.
Shazier reportedly approached the team about the possibility of them making this move, and they acquiesced, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
As noted by Yates, the move has no salary-cap implications, but it’s a classy gesture regardless.
Shazier, for his part, has expressed gratitude for all the support he’s received following his injury.
“The people at Ohio State loved me before I got hurt. The people at the Steelers loved me before I got hurt. Just the fact that I am going through this, so many people have been reaching out, praying and having their hands of protection around me. It really means a lot,” he said.
Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert, meanwhile, called Shazier’s story “beyond inpsirational.”
“To see where he’s come from to where he is and knowing where he might be able to go, it’s beyond inspirational. It’s just exciting. It’s really exciting for him,” Colbert said.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.