Ryan Shazier Announces Retirement From NFL Three Years After Spinal Injury
By Bill Galluccio
September 9, 2020
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier announced that he is officially retiring from the NFL. Shazier was injured three years ago during a Monday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals on December 4, 2017. Shazier smashed his head into rookie Josh Malone as he attempted to make a tackle and crumpled to the ground. He was airlifted to the hospital and underwent spinal stabilization a few days later.
He had no feeling in his legs, and doctors were unsure if he would ever walk again. Shazier persevered through his rehabilitation and shocked the world when he walked across the stage at the 2018 NFL draft, just five months later. Last summer, Shazier celebrated being able to do a box jump and even managed to dance at his wedding.
While Shazier had hopes of returning to play in the NFL, he said he has decided "to explore some new challenges and different paths."
"Football gave me everything I ever wanted and more. It taught me about hard work, dedication, teamwork. It took me to college and the NFL. It made me money and gave me a life most people could only dream about. I'm here today to make sure the world knows how much I still love football, how grateful I am for everything football gave me. And I'm here to let the world know that today I am officially retiring from the game I love so much," Shazier said in a video on Twitter.
Shazier was a first-round draft pick in 2014 and amassed seven interceptions, seven forced fumbles, seven sacks, and 299 tackles during his NFL career.
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