Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier will miss a fourth-straight game this Sunday because of a nagging shoulder/neck injury that he suffered back in Week 2. It’s very unfortunate as the young linebacker is now being labeled as a bust and injury prone. The Ohio State product certainly hears the criticism that he’s currently receiving and Friday afternoon he took to Twitter to voice some of his thoughts on the matter.
First, the last thing that Shazier needs to do right now is read his own press and the comments made about him on blogs, radio, forums or social media. He’s right when he says that none of us really know what he’s currently going through and more importantly, how hard he’s working to get himself back on the field. With that said, it still doesn’t mean that each and every one of us isn’t going to speculate about his current situation. It’s what we do as fans, bloggers and media. That’s never going to go away.
Shazier’s first two years in the league haven’t gone overly well. In fact, Sunday will mark the 11th regular season game that his missed due to an injury out of a possible 22. This comes after a college career in which he never missed game. In other words, missing games due to injuries is something that’s foreign to Shazier and he certainly is having a hard time dealing with it and that’s understandable.
Shazier is only 23 years-old. When he has been on the field, he’s played well and that was evidenced several weeks ago when he registered a career-high 15 total tackles in the game that he injured his shoulder. He has a bright future with the Steelers if he can get back on the field and stay there. Time is on his side as well as long as his current injury isn’t career-ending as the Steelers aren’t just going to toss him aside after two seasons even though many fans will likely want them to.
While working on overcoming his shoulder injury, Shazier also needs to overcome his injured psyche. He needs to control what he can control and block out everything else. He also needs to understand and accept that fans are going to be fans, the media is going to be the media and that bloggers are going to be bloggers. In other words, humans are going to be humans.
Keep your head up, Ryan, and I hope you get well soon.