Shazier sustained a spinal contusion in the impact and spent two days in the hospital in Cincinnati before returning to Pittsburgh to continue his recovery process. Shazier has made significant process ever since. According to the Stephen Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, he was able to jog at practice with linebackers coach Joey Porter for the first time last week.
Shazier made a lengthy post on his instagram page Tuesday reflecting on the year since his injury and the lasting impacts the sudden change to his life has yielded in the time since.
“Today is a day to remember,” he wrote. “Just a year ago my life changed forever. It was a scary moment for many people. I’m not going to lie, I was one of them. I’ve learned this was an amazing opportunity for the Lord to show how great He is. It’s been a crazy, long journey, but it is not over yet. The best worst part about this journey that I’m on is the unknown. Day by day it’s getting better than the the day before.
“Today is and was a day of joy. I want to thank all of the amazing people that have been a part of this process with me, starting with the one and only Michelle. And lets talk about my ride or die boy.. my number one man..my son RJ knows how to keep a smile on my face. My parents and siblings have been there through the thick and thin. There was more than a million tears cried over this year, but now they are all of joy. Love you guys. My friends and teammates, man y’all don’t understand just the little things you’ve done that have pulled me from darkness to the light. To the Steelers-there’s no better organization. Thank you for being family to me.
“The UPMC trainers and staff for getting me back on my feet. Steelers and Buckeye Nation-your prayers and love honestly keep me going. And to the fans everywhere, I feel your support honestly everyday. CAA-thank you guys constantly for giving me amazing advice and being the best agency in the world. And Iast, but not least, I have to give Jerome Howard and Mike Micca an extra thank you for dealing with my foolishness, excuses, pain, and joy everyday. These two are with me working everyday and I cant say thank you enough to these guys. Love you all thank you so much. #SHALIEVE”
The progress Shazier has made in a year is remarkable. He’s still not within sight of his stated goal of wanting to return to his playing career. Whether he’ll ever be able to reach that plateau remains unclear. But when Shazier was reaching for his injured back, unable to move his legs on the turf on a Monday night in Cincinnati, whether he’d be doing what he’s doing now appeared to be in serious doubt. He has every reason to feel joyful about the hurdles he’s cleared 365 days later.