Ryan Shazier wants to play football again some day

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Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier walked to the podium with a cane. But he was walking, and able to say that he wanted to return to the field after last year’s devastating spinal injury.

Via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Shazier held his first press conference today since the injury which left him temporarily paralyzed and required spinal stabilization surgery.

My aim is to come back and play football again,” Shazier said, which is stunning on a number of levels.

He has remained around the team and serves as a coach/mentor/inspiration, and said the support of teammates and being in the environment help him with his daily challenges. He said his next hurdle is to walk without a cane.

“It’s been a long process, a challenge,” he said. “I know it’s going to be a long journey. . . .

“Every day I’m getting so much better.”

Shazier admitted the moment against the Bengals, when he fell to the turf after lowering his head into a tackle, was a frightening one for him. And though he won’t play this year, his motivation remains to return to the game.

40 responses to “Ryan Shazier wants to play football again some day

  1. He should never think about playing football ever again….time to coach…sometimes the mind is willing but the body is just not able.

  2. A mind is a powerful tool. If the mind can conceive it, one can achieve it. Keep that hope and motivation and don’t settle for anything less. #BuckeyeTough

  3. If he is ever able to run again probably, then he should try the Flag Football league or something first. See how his body re acts to that kind of activity. No contact.

  4. I get that the mind is powerful, but when you are a hit away from serious paralysis or death, you may just want to change courses a bit and follow your passion in a way that keeps you out of harms way….and coaching is his best bet.

  5. Glad he set his sight so high and he sees improvement each day. Now; get better and start to walk and run without a cane. Good luck on your recovery, which we all consider remarkable.

  6. It’s motivation to get his mobility back and able to live like he used to. I wouldnt knock him too much for having that goal. It’ll be awesome to be able to make that decision of if he wants to play again or not when that time comes

  7. He’s a grown man. Obviously a fearless one too. Good Luck on your travels Ryan Shazier. Far be it for me to comment on what you should or shouldn’t do. You are the navigator of your life.

  8. He obviously knows he will never be cleared to play ball ever again but it is great to just grind and work and push yourself (it’s probably second nature to him) to attain the goal of being where you once were both mentally and physically. Love it. Good for him.

  9. Ryan, you dodged a HUGE bullet. Think about doing something else with your life. If you weren’t injured, what do you have, another 5 or 6 years of playing? Well you have another 50 years of living.

  10. If the thought of playing football again gives him the extra motivation through his rehab process then I have nothing against him thinking it. Obviously the decision to he put him on the field would not be up too him, but if him saying that he wants to play again push him that much further in his recovery then by all means let him

  11. Playing again should be the end goal. If everything heals up fine and he is cleared why not play? He has the same risk as anyone else on the field? Or should everyone quit because of the dangers of the game?

  12. For those making fun of his intentions, understand how difficult it is for anyone to walk away from their lifelong dream. It is not easy, there is a psychological barrier to overcome.

  13. Ryan…stop.

    I applaud your love of the game…but their are other ways to be involved that dont involve the risk of PERMANENT paralysis.

    And if I had to guess, NO team will ever take that risk on you.

  14. I think it’s more likely, Ryan, that I’ll first see Johnny Manziel, Lennay Kekua and Ryan Leaf in the NFL before you. Nothing personal but you is done in the NFL.

  15. I wish Ryan the best, but no team is ever going to clear him to play. No doctor is going to risk his career on that, and no team wanted the press that will come with a player becoming paralyzed on the field.

  16. Wow, I am surprised by the general reaction to this.

    It’s his life, his choice – is this no longer America? Evel Knievel broke hundreds of bones, spent years of his life in hospital beds, yet he is an American icon. Shazier can play again or go skydiving, whatever he wants, and good for him.

    I can’t believe so many people think that him playing again would be too dangerous, when what happened to him was a fluke that could happen to any player, at any time.

    Oh and, he is a professional athlete. He’s not some slob in your rec league. His body is like a new Ferrari, to your ’87 Toyota Tercel. You aren’t the same as him.

    I hope he does play again, and I can’t wait to see the movie they make about it once he retires. Sports are about drama, achievement, overcoming odds, and personal grit. If you don’t like it, maybe watch badminton

  17. There are several players with less serious injuries that GMs won’t take the risk of signing.

  18. I usually just lurk, but as a lowly med student (you’ll just have to take my word for it), we do stabilization surgery so that you can have something resembling a normal life again. If anyone can pull this off, it’s Shazier, but my almost-an-MD opinion is that I’d strongly advise against it.

    I thought it was a bad idea for Manning to retake the field after his vertebral fusion surgery for the same reason- one hit from the wrong angle and he’s strumming a golden harp. Extra hardware in one’s body isn’t extra armor.

    Nonetheless, I’m grateful he’s on his feet again. Most people wouldn’t be, and he’s a remarkable human being. Good luck to him.

  19. Ryan,
    I can’t stand the Steelers but i like you, please literally walk away while you still can. Think of your family and friends and enjoy the fact that you played football and you can still walk. If you didn’t get the scare of your life already i don’t know what will make you realize that football is a nasty sport and you are tempting fate by trying to come back.

  20. I appreciate the goal setting but to actually go out and play is moronic. His spinal stabilization most likely entails a fusing of the vertebrae that were impacted to healthy bones above and below the injured site. The spine is able to take impacts and compression because each vertebrae is able to move independently, once you fuse them the ability to take impacts is significantly reduced.
    Get back to living life unencumbered and take that as gift enough.

  21. So many people try to sabotage a person and their goals, likely because they themselves are incapable of the discipline and motivation to strive for ambitious goals, content with their mediocre life. The negativity doesn’t stop on the internet, I feel sorry for those around you.

  22. strength531 says:

    So many people try to sabotage a person and their goals, likely because they themselves are incapable of the discipline and motivation to strive for ambitious goals, content with their mediocre life. The negativity doesn’t stop on the internet, I feel sorry for those around you.
    I feel sorry for you too pal for making such a dumb comment.

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