Michelle Steele spoke with neurologist Dr. Anthony Alessi, who consults w NFLPA, following the news that Steelers ILB Ryan Shazier underwent spinal stabilization surgery. Alessi explained that this situation is worse than they were hoping and it’s possible he may never play football again.
“It’s not good,” Alessi tells Steele. “We’re not going to see him this season. He may not play football again.”
Alessi explained that surgery is needed when the “bones around his spinal cord are dislocated. This is a more severe injury (than a contusion.)”
“This is a much more severe situation on our hands than we thought,” Alessi said.
Ian Rapoport reports that Shazier’s spinal surgery will require months of recovery before he even considers a possible return to playing football.
Shazier’s 2017 season is obviously over and you can expect the Steelers place him on injured reserve at some point in the near future.
Football is clearly secondary right now and we’re hoping that Shazier gets some much needed good news. Our thoughts and prayers are with him during his recovery.
The Pittsburgh Steelers announced that LB Ryan Shazier underwent a spinal stabilization surgery Wednesday night that was performed by UPMC neurosurgeons and Steelers team physicians.
There’s no update regarding this status other than this. However, it speaks to the severity of Shazier’s condition.
Shazier was able to return to Pittsburgh Wednesday before undergoing this procedure after spending a night in Cincinnati.
During Monday night’s game, 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.