December 4th, 2017 is a day Ryan Shazier will never forget as it turned his life and football career upside down when he suffered a spinal injury during Pittsburgh’s Week 13 win over the Bengals, where an awkward tackle left him unable to move anything below the hips.
He would later undergo spinal stabilization surgery days later, and would be discharged from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Rehabilitation Institute in February 2018, where he would then transition into an outpatient therapy program as part of what has been a long rehab process.
Fast forward to January 2019 and he continues to make tremendous strides in his recovery. Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney II says Shazier is making “amazing progress.”
“Almost every week, he’s doing something he wasn’t doing the week before,” Rooney said. “He’s a remarkable young man and an inspiration to everybody around here.”
The 26-year-old Shazier is now jogging after doctors thought he would never walk on his feet again. As far as his playing career, he is still holding out hope that he can once again step on the field and that may very well may be the thing that’s keeping him going.