Ryan Shazier has spinal stabilization surgery two days after scary injury

Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier had spinal stabilization surgery Wednesday night, according to a statement released by University of Pittsburgh Medical Center neurosurgeons and the Steelers' team physicians.

The news comes two days after Shazier suffered a spinal injury while making a tackle in the first quarter of Pittsburgh's game against Cincinnati. Shazier did not appear to have movement in his legs and was placed on a backboard and carted off the field. He was then taken to University of Cincinnati Medical Center where he remained until Wednesday, when he returned to Pittsburgh.

On Tuesday, Shazier sent this tweet:

And at his Tuesday press conference, coach Mike Tomlin, who visited Shazier in the hospital on Monday night, called the young linebacker "a legitimate leader," adding, "You know, he's asking about the guys -- [Vince Williams], specifically. I told him about the guys. We talked about how the game unfolded and some of those things. Normal conversations. Not only is he mentally tough, but he's a guy that's spiritually in a great place, and I know that's an asset for he and his family."

"It was painful to, kind of, get on that plane last night, but that's life," Tomlin continued. "We realize and understand that he's in really good hands and is getting expert medical care, and he also challenged us to move on with what it is we need to move on [to]."

On Wednesday, Williams donned Shazier's No. 50 during the team's practice.

And on Sunday night, the Steelers will face the Ravens in an important AFC North matchup.  But there are things more important than football, even when you're talking about one of the NFL's most intense rivalries.

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

Show Comments Hide Comments
Our Latest Stories
    CBS Sports Shop