Ryan Shazier continues to work his way back from a severe spinal injury that left him temporarily paralyzed last December. According to his father, Vernon, the Steelers linebacker remains "submerged" in rehab.
Details from ESPN.com's Jeremy Fowler:
Many days, Shazier gets up early, heads to the facility for workouts and meetings, followed by therapy and treatment. The work is tough but keeps Shazier connected. Shazier is able to drive a car when necessary but often opts for a ride to focus on his rehab.
More from Fowler:
Shazier intensely practiced for his draft-day walk, which Vernon called a "gripping moment" reminding how far he's come, even if the walk was a bit longer than the family expected.
Shazier's father continues to pray that the Steelers star will soon be able to walk without assistance, and eventually make a full recovery.
"(God's) big enough that that's not too big of a task," Vernon told Fowler.
Shazier was injured in the Steelers' Week 13 game against the Bengals. The injury ended his season and leaving serious doubts about his football future. But the 2014 first-round pick and 2017 Pro Bowl selection remained adamant that he would play again, telling teammate Roosevelt Nix in February that not only does he plan to return to the field but his goal of making it into Canton hasn't changed either.
"I've gotta get back, bro," Shazier said during an appearance on Nix's podcast. "Every day, bro. Every day I'm like -- right now, I'm reading a book and it's basically saying trust the process, bro. I'm really trusting the process and I know the end goal. I'm taking it every step of the way but I'm like, I'm giving it like my football effort, like 1,000, everything I've got."
Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert has confirmed that Shazier won't play in 2018 but says the linebacker will remain involved with the team while he works toward his long-term goal of playing football again. For now, that involvement includes mentoring and coaching Pittsburgh's linebackers.
"He's always around," tight end Jesse James said. "He's in meetings, I see him working in the training room, working in the weight room. Just taking it one day at a time, doing his thing, helping the team as much as he can."