PITTSBURGH — Linebacker Ryan Shazier remains at a UPMC hospital in Pittsburgh as he recovers from last week’s spinal stabilization surgery, according to a statement from UPMC released by the Steelers.
“Mr. Shazier has started physical rehabilitation as part of his recovery process,” the statement read.
Shazier was strapped to a board and carted off the field after a collision with receiver Josh Malone during the first quarter of a Dec. 4 matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals. Shazier spent two nights at a University of Cincinnati hospital before being transported to Pittsburgh for the surgery.
Players were deeply shaken by the injury during the game and in the days after.
On Tuesday, the team placed Shazier on injured reserve.
Vernon Shazier, Ryan’s father, told ESPN via text that the support from around the NFL has been “unbelievable” and the family is “remaining hopeful and taking life one day at a time.”
Steelers players have been visiting Shazier throughout the last week and have been uplifted by Shazier’s spirit. More than 15 players wore customized Shazier cleats before Sunday’s game against the Baltimore Ravens, while most of the team wore No. 50 T-shirts.
“You go and visit him and all he wants to do is talk about football and how we are in practices, ” linebacker T.J. Watt said. “Just how positive he is has shown us how we should approach our day-to-day lives, because football was taken away from him for the year. We have to go out here and not take things for granted and have fun.”