Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier's life changed on Dec. 4, 2017 when he suffered a serious spinal injury while making a tackle against the Bengals. On Tuesday night, the one-year anniversary of his injury, Shazier posted this message to Instagram.
"Today is a day to remember," he began. "Just a year ago my life changed forever. It was a scary moment for many people. I'm not going to lie, I was one of them. I've learned this was an amazing opportunity for the Lord to show how great He is. It's been a crazy, long journey, but it is not over yet. The best worst part about this journey that I'm on is the unknown. Day by day it's getting better than the the day before.
"Today is and was a day of joy," Shazier continued. "I want to thank all of the amazing people that have been a part of this process with me, starting with the one and only Michelle. And lets talk about my ride or die boy, my number one man, my son RJ knows how to keep a smile on my face. My parents and siblings have been there through the thick and thin. There was more than a million tears cried over this year, but now they are all of joy. Love you guys. My friends and teammates, man y'all don't understand just the little things you've done that have pulled me from darkness to the light. To the Steelers -- there's no better organization. Thank you for being family to me.
"The UPMC trainers and staff for getting me back on my feet. Steelers and Buckeye Nation -- your prayers and love honestly keep me going. And to the fans everywhere, I feel your support honestly everyday. CAA -- thank you guys constantly for giving me amazing advice and being the best agency in the world. And Iast, but not least, I have to give Jerome Howard and Mike Micca an extra thank you for dealing with my foolishness, excuses, pain, and joy everyday. These two are with me working everyday and I cant say thank you enough to these guys. Love you all thank you so much. #SHALIEVE"
Shazier has made it clear that he hopes to take the field again.
"My dream is to come back and play football again," he said earlier this year. "I've been working my tail off every single day, so I have that in the back of my mind every single time I go to rehab. I just try to stay positive every day, so I'm just trying to do everything I can to get back."
Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said in February that, whatever Shazier's future held as a player, he would remained involved with the organization.
"[H]e's here on a daily basis," Colbert said at the time. "He does some physical workouts in the morning. He either sits in with the coaches or he'll sit in with us. He's learning some personnel stuff just to keep him involved with us and then he goes and does his rehab at a rehab facility. But the great thing about it is Ryan does as much as we do for him because the way he works at this and the attitude that he has shown and his rehabilitation, it's really uplifting. Never once has he said, why me. And I know that is an uplifting gesture for us and those that deal with him because he shows us that everyone has problems but he's going to work to overcome his as we should ours."