Ryan Shazier returns to Steelers practice in wheelchair, brings 'joy to everybody'

Ryan Shazier is back at Steelers practice. As the Steelers prepared for their upcoming home playoff game against the Jaguars, they received a visitor who "brought joy to everybody."

On Wednesday, Shazier -- in a wheelchair -- made his first appearance at practice since suffering a serious spine injury that resulted in his hospitalization. 

Here's what he wrote in the caption:

I want to thank the Lord for the first downs that he has been allowing me to achieve. The touchdown is going to come in his timing, but today was a first down. I was finally able to make it to practice with my teammates. It's great to be back for practices and meetings. Just to be able to feel a part of it means the world. So I'm working harder than I ever have to get back. Ive been making strides over the past month and continue to make progress. Taking it day-by-day, but I'm far from done. The Lord has not finished his work yet. I want to say thank you to the fans and Steelers Nation for the prayers. If it wasn't for my family, friends and your prayers I wouldn't be were I am now. They have lifted me and my family through this journey and I ask for you to continue praying for me, as I continue to work daily on improving my health.

According to Maurkice Pouncey, Shazier "broke the team down" when they circled up and "brought joy to everybody."

Shazier suffered the injury on Dec. 4 when he made a hard tackle with his head down. After getting stretchered and carted off the field, he went directly to the hospital. Two days later, he underwent spinal stabilization surgery. Less than two weeks later, he started rehab. He has since visited the Steelers' team facility and Heinz Field for a game. Despite his inability to take the field, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin revealed that Shazier is still trying to remain involved with the game plan. Shazier was placed on injured reserve on Dec. 12 and it's not yet known if he'll ever be able to play again.

Updates about Shazier, who won't return this season, have been vague, but his dad recently revealed that he can feel his legs.

CBS Sports Writer

Sean Wagner-McGough joined CBS Sports in 2015 after graduating from UC Berkeley. A native of Seattle, Sean now resides in the Bay Area. He spends his spare time defending Jay Cutler on Twitter. Full Bio

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