Much of the focus right now is on the Pittsburgh Steelers disappointing loss to the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday night. But at the end of the day, cliche as it sounds, it’s just a game. And there’s so many things in life that are more important. Like this update from Joey Porter via the PPG’s Ray Fittipaldo. According to Porter, Ryan Shazier jogged for the first time since his spinal injury that left him paralyzed 364 days ago.
From Fittipaldo’s article:
“Steelers outside linebackers coach Joey Porter said Shazier jogged on Friday for the first time since the injury.”
It’s a remarkable recovery from Shazier, who has slowly but steadily improved throughout 2018. At the NFL Draft, he walked across the stage for the first time in the public eye. At training camp in August, he walked without the assistance of a cane, doing laps around the track at Latrobe High School. And now, he’s graduated to jogging.
To many, it’s an improbable comeback. To those who knew Shazier well, family and teammates, it’s no surprise. Despite doctors. according to the article, giving him a 20% chance to walk again, he was always a good bet to beat the odds. An athlete, a crazy competitive person, wired differently than most, allowed him to blow away doctors expectations. Previously, Shazier has said doctors and therapists have never seen anyone with his type of injury recover at the rate he is.
Even if the odds are long, he still seems hellbent on an NFL comeback. While continuing his rehab, he’s worked with the team’s scouting department and as a teacher/leader in that locker room during the season. Most weeks, it’s Shazier breaking down the defensive pre-game huddle.
Though Shazier declined comment for Fittipaldo’s article, it’s a great feature piece I encourage all of you to check out and read the entire thing through. We’ll link it again here. It’s a great recap of all he’s endured with stories from some of his teammates, who have been instrumental in supporting Shazier and encouraging him through a grueling recovery.