Ryan Shazier on NFL future: ‘I definitely feel like I’ll be back out there’
Ryan Shazier has every intention of returning to play in the NFL in the wake of a traumatic spinal injury during a game late last season, saying he “definitely” expects to resume his career at some point.
The Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker was making an appearance over the weekend at an event at Heinz Field honoring the team’s late owner, Dan Rooney, when he expressed his remarkably positive outlook.
“I’m taking it one step at a time, but I know the Lord,” Shazier said Saturday night, via CBS Pittsburgh. “He has a plan for me, and I definitely feel like I’ll be back out there.”
Shazier took time to express heartfelt gratitude for the tremendous amount of encouragement received from the Steelers organization, the team’s fans and the broader NFL community and fans.
“I know a lot of people say I’m an inspiration to them, but honestly the support I’ve been getting has allowed me to just stay positive and be able to push through every day also,” Shazier said.
Shazier last week shared inspirational footage of a recent gym workout. While he concedes the exercise consisted of only upper-body work, the video nevertheless documents just how far Shazier has come in such a short time.
“I know some days are harder than others, but it’s not a sprint. It’s a marathon, and you just gotta continue to push,” Shazier said. “I feel like the more positive you are, the easier it is for you to deal with the situation you’re in and the easier it is to continue to push through.”
Encouraging updates have been common as Shazier progresses his challenging rehabilitation. Among them is how Shazier made the transition to outpatient treatment upon his release from a rehab facility last month.
Shazier not only intends to resume his playing career but also believes he will one day be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. However, the Steelers have announced Shazier will not play in 2018.
“Every day is tough, but we just try to take one step at a time in this journey,” Shazier said.