Ryan Shazier to Remain on Steelers Roster, Be Put on PUP List Amid Injury Rehab

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistMarch 12, 2019

GREEN BAY, WI - AUGUST 16:  Ryan Shazier #50 of the Pittsburgh Steelers walks off the field following a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on August 16, 2018 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers announced Tuesday that Ryan Shazier's contract will be tolled into the 2019 season, which will keep him on the team's roster.

Shazier will not see the field this year, though, as the team will place him on the physically unable to perform list.

"We will continue to support Ryan's efforts to return to play," Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said. "Although he won't be able to help us on the field in 2019, his leadership, insight, and emotional support have always been very valuable to us, and we look forward to his contributions in our pursuit of a championship."

Shazier did not play in 2018 after suffering a spinal injury in December 2017.

The 26-year-old continues to make progress in his rehab. Back in December 2018, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Stephen J. Nesbitt reported Shazier had started jogging for the first time since his injury. Per Nesbitt, doctors had told the linebacker there was less than a 20 percent chance he'd ever walk again.

Not only did Shazier intend to beat the odds, but he had his sights set on returning to the field from Day 1.

"I've gotta get back, bro," Shazier said on teammate Roosevelt Nix's podcast last year, h/t NFL.com's Nick Shook. "Every day, bro. Every day I'm like—right now, I'm reading a book and it's basically saying trust the process, bro. I'm really trusting the process and I know the end goal. I'm taking it every step of the way but I'm like, I'm giving it like my football effort, like 1,000, everything I've got. ...I'm really trying to come back and still be a Pro Bowler, still be an All-Pro."

He would later reiterate that stance:

Shazier still has a long road ahead before football becomes an option again. However, the Steelers organization has stood behind their two-time Pro Bowler. Tolling his contract will entitle him to a salary, allow him to accrue service time for his pension and provide him with the NFL's insurance plan.

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