Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier will miss a second-consecutive season in 2019 due to the serious spinal injury he suffered late during the 2017 season but the team’s former first-round draft pick is still hoping to play again just the same. Shazier, who returned this week to his former high school for a football camp run by his trainer and childhood friend, Jerome Howard, made it quite easy to see how far he’s come in his rehab when demonstrating to attendees the correct form to use while utilizing various pieces of workout equipment, as you can see in the video below.
In an interview with David Furones of the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Shazier also made it known that he’s been using workout equipment which he demonstrated to camp attendees this week for some time now. The Ohio state product also talked about the progress he’s made during his rehab to date along with his future goals.
“I try to be appreciative of every day I get, because every day I’m beating the odds,” Shazier told Furones. “Every day I’m getting better, proving people wrong that never thought I’d be where I am. I constantly am proud of where I’m at. There are some moments that people see that are a little bigger than others. I set goals, but every day that I take another step, take another breath, I’m truly thankful and praise God for that.
“I have a lot of little moments like that to myself and my family, but my goals may be different from a lot of people’s goals. People might see me walking on the stage and be thinking, ‘Man, that’s an amazing goal. I know he’s been trying to achieve that.’ But at the end of the day, I can be trying to achieve something entirely different.”
Shazier went on to state to Furones that he has much higher goals than just playing another NFL snap as a member of the Steelers.
“I still want to make the Hall of Fame, still want to be the best linebacker in the NFL,” Shazier reportedly said. “I’m not giving up on my goals, and the doctors said don’t give up on my goals, so there’s no problem with me doing that. I’m just going to keep working, and hopefully I’m going to be back as soon as I can.”
If you’ve followed Shazier’s rehab process dating back to the night he suffered his spinal injury against the Cincinnati Bengals, it’s hard not to be impressed with how far he’s come. We saw him him get married during the offseason and dance with his wife at the wedding reception. Many probably never thought we’d see him do that when he was laying in the hospital back in late 2017.
Shazier will spend the 2019 season just like he spend his 2018 season, on the team’s Reserve/PUP list while coaching and mentoring other players on the Steelers roster. He’ll also do so while earning a split contract salary as well. After the 2019 season ends, March of 2020, the start of the new NFL year, will soon follow. The middle of next March might be a key date for Shazier’s future come that point. Until then, continue to marvel at the progress that Shazier has made to date and pray that he’ll eventually complete his planned comeback.