ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler has a really good feature piece on Ryan Shazier and his family in the wake of Shazier’s spine injury suffered 17 days ago. The whole article is worth checking out, we’ll link it again at the bottom, with much of the conversation from Shazier’s dad, Vernon.
Mr. Shazier is especially thankful for all the support he’s received from the Steelers’ organization, community, and people around the nation.
“We know we’re in a deep valley, but we do not feel alone,” Vernon Shazier told Fowler.
There still is not much of an update on Shazier’s current condition, other than that he’s still at a Pittsburgh hospital and beginning his physical rehab. But the well wishes of so many fans have lifted their spirits during what the family calls a “category 5” storm.
“It’s coming from so many different sources…I got an email from a kid who has a medical issue, where Ryan has touched his heart. You have kids wishing Ryan gets better for Christmas. It’s keeping us up.”
A seven year old child wrote a letter to Santa asking for Shazier to get better, posted by Shazier’s mom on Instagram four days ago.
Mr. Shazier said Ryan’s trip to Heinz Field Sunday was his first time out of the hospital since his injury, a couple hours that surely brightened his spirits as the crowd went wild when he was shown on the Jumbotron. Mr. Shazier has spent almost every day thanking Steelers’ Nation on Twitter and posting spiritual messages to get through an obviously difficult time. The hashtag #Shalieve has taken over too.
Despite the injury, Shazier was still selected to his second Pro Bowl. That was, according to his dad, one of two goals he had this year.
“Ryan had two goals going into the year — a Pro Bowl and a Super Bowl. He’s been able to check one off the list. He’s hoping to check the next one off.”
He was certainly playing at a potential defensive MVP level before getting hurt, racking up 89 tackles, three interceptions, and two forced fumbles. His football future is entirely unknown but I don’t think it’s fair to assert that it’s over either.
Like I said, it’s a really good article from Fowler that is definitely going to put a smile on your face. Check it out – we’ll link it again right here.