Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert announced months ago that Shazier wouldn't play during the 2018 season, so this is merely confirmation of that previous report. Shazier will continue to go through his rehabilitation with the organization's medical staff after a severe spinal injury cut his 2017 campaign short. He seemingly hopes to eventually return to the field.
While Shazier remains hopeful to resume his career after suffering a serious spinal injury Dec. 4 that required surgery two days later, the linebacker hasn't made enough progress in his recovery at this point for the Steelers to realistically consider activating him in 2018. Colbert indicated that Shazier, who is due $8.72 million next season after the Steelers exercised his fifth-year team option last April, will be around the organization in some capacity even while he remains unavailable to play. In addition to continuing his rehab under the supervision of team doctors, look for Shazier to act as a de facto assistant coach for the Steelers and provide an uplifting presence in the locker room.
Shazier (spine) said Tuesday in a guest appearance on teammate Roosevelt Nix's podcast that he's been rehabbing five days a week and plans to resume his football career, Joe Rutter of TribLive.com reports.
The podcast appearance marked Shazier's first public comments regarding the spinal-cord injury he sustained Dec. 4 against the Bengals that required stabilization surgery. The linebacker was hospitalized for two months following the procedure but has recently began working out at the Steelers' facility under the watchful eye of rehab therapists. While Shazier has made it clear that he intends to continue playing football, he'll need to receive medical clearance from doctors later in the offseason for that to become a reality. It could take several more months before doctors decide whether or not to clear the 25-year-old.
Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said Thursday that Shazier, who underwent spinal stabilization surgery Dec. 14, has been working out at the team's facility on a daily basis, Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. "He does some physical workouts in the morning and he either sits in with the coaches or he sits in with [the front office]. He's learning some personnel stuff, just to keep him involved with us, then he goes and does his rehab at a rehab facility."
Shazier remains in the initial stages of his rehab from the scary spinal injury he suffered Dec. 4 against the Bengals and it has yet to be determined if he'll be able to play football again. The Steelers should have a better idea about his long-term outlook as he progresses during the next few months of rehab, but Colbert is optimistic that the linebacker will remain involved with the organization in some capacity regardless if he receives clearance to resume his playing career. After signing his fifth-year team option last April, Shazier is guaranteed $8.5 million in 2018 whether he returns to the field or not.
Though Shazier is making progresses in his rehab from spinal stabilization surgery, reports that he's been walking on his own have been clarified, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reports.
Per the report, Shazier has movement in his legs, but at this stage, he "needs assistance from a walker or other people or to support him in his rehab walking." The 25-year-old linebacker underwent surgery Dec. 6 after suffering his injury Dec. 4 while attempting to make a tackle during a game against the Bengals.
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