Early indications about the status of Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier appear to be positive following a scary injury Monday night in Cincinnati.
Shazier was taken to the hospital immediately following a hit on Bengals wide receiver Josh Malone. Shazier instantly grabbed for the middle of his back following the hit and was strapped to a backboard before leaving the stadium. Head coach Mike Tomlin didn’t have an update on Shazier’s status immediately following the game but Kevin Colbert, the team’s General Manager and Vice President, released a statement regarding Shazier’s condition late Monday night.
“Ryan Shazier suffered a back injury and was taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center where he had a CT scan and an MRI to evaluate the condition of his back.
“Ryan’s injury will not require surgery at this time, and he continues to improve. He will stay overnight to continue evaluations with the hopes of returning to Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
“We will provide further updates at the appropriate time.”
Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Aditi Kinkhabwala of the NFL Network had similar reports regarding the severity of Shazier’s injuries as well. The injury was referred to as a spinal cord concussion, or contusion, with swelling involved.
Former Steelers quarterback Tommy Maddox had a similar injury in 2002 which forced him to miss just one game, leading to optimism within the team regarding Shazier’s status as well. With Shazier potentially able to return to Pittsburgh on Tuesday, there appears to be many encouraging signs regarding Shazier’s health at this point. Hopefully that optimism remains tomorrow and Shazier continues to improve.