Ryan Shazier on Rehab Progress from Back Injury: 'I Got to Get Back'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 21, 2018

Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Ryan Shazier (50) talsk with teammates along the sidelines during the first half of an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans in Pittsburgh, Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier spoke publicly for the first time since he suffered a spine injury during a Week 13 win over the Cincinnati Bengals and stressed his desire to get back on the field and compete for a Pro Bowl spot.

Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette passed along Shazier's comments that were made on fullback Roosevelt Nix's podcast:

"I got to get back. Right now I'm reading a book and it's basically saying trust the process. I'm really trusting the process. I know the end goal. So I'm taking every step of the way, I'm giving everything I got. The therapists are like, 'Man this is crazy; I've never seen anyone work this hard.' They almost see progression every day.

"They say like some progressions they see week to week, they see from me day to day. I'm really trying to come back and still be a Pro Bowler. I'm sorry, because I feel I got snubbed this year for All-Pro even though I got hurt. But I feel like my stats are as good as those who made it."

Shazier continued to talk about his goals—specifically his aim to still make the Hall of Fame—and said he is rehabbing for two hours a day, five times a week in an effort to eventually return to the field for Pittsburgh.

The Ohio State product was carted off the field and underwent spinal surgery after suffering the injury and was ruled out for the remainder of the campaign.

Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reported earlier this month Shazier was discharged from the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute and had a walking routine after regaining movement in his legs.

"The next three to six months are critical in his recovery and will provide a significant idea how much more function Shazier can regain," Schefter wrote.

The two-time Pro Bowler tallied 89 combined tackles, three interceptions, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in 12 games for the Steelers in 2017 as one of the defensive leaders for the AFC North champions.

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