“He’s making progress daily,” Vernon Shazier said, via PennLive.com. “He’s a long ways from where he was Monday night when he was laying on the field.”
When asked if his son could play football again, Vernon said yes while adding: “I Shalieve. I Shalieve.”
Last month, Vernon told Jeremy Fowler of ESPN that his son was showing some improvement, as he works his way back from spinal injury.
“We have seen some improvement that is encouraging,” Vernon said. “We’re taking it one day at a time. We do not know what tomorrow holds. It’s a [daily] journey we don’t know. But I know God is getting the message.”
Vernon added that he’s well aware that football is a violent sport and he prays for all players that put their future health on the line every week.
“The reality of the game is that it’s a violent sport. I naturally pray for those guys going out there every game,” Vernon said. “Any day there’s a football game playing, I’m praying. About whether people should play, I don’t think I’m at that point to think about it.”
During their game against the Bengals, Shazier lowered his head to make a tackle on Bengals WR Josh Malone when his head made contact with Malone’s thigh. Shazer dropped to the turf and it was clear that his lower extremities weren’t functioning after the hit.
The Steelers medical staff loaded him on to a backboard and carted him off of the field before immediately taking him to a local hospital.
Shazier, 25, is a former first-round pick of the Steelers back in 2014. He was in the final year of his four-year, $9.5 million contract and set to make a base salary of $1,284,292 for the 2016 season when the Steelers picked up his fifth-year option this past May.
Shazier will earn an $8.718 million salary for the 2017 season, which is guaranteed for injury only.
In 2017, Shazier has appeared in 11 games and recorded 87 tackles, three interceptions, a fumble recovery, two forced fumbles and 10 pass defenses. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 8 inside linebacker out of 87 qualifying players.
We’ll have more regarding Shazier’s injury as the news is available.