Ryan Shazier, two-time Pro Bowl linebacker for the Steelers, announces his retirement through a sentimental video on social media.
Shazier posted an incredibly heartfelt video on social media, confirming that his NFL career is over. He spoke about what football meant to him and from his tone, you can tell how difficult this decision must have been for him.
Thank You 🙏🏽… pic.twitter.com/JS3diYi2ar
— Ryan Shazier (@RyanShazier) September 9, 2020
Ryan Shazier: The dominant Steelers linebacker
Through his first 46 games, Shazier notched 205 solo tackles, 24 tackles for a loss, seven sacks, and seven interceptions. Those sorts of numbers are unprecedented and his play earned him pro bowl berths twice in four seasons.
Shazier was a force for the Steelers defence and quickly became the leader of that unit. For example, he had perhaps the best statistical game of his career on September 10th, 2016 against the Browns. In that game, he tied his career-high with 11 solo tackles and forced a career-high two fumbles in a 21-18 victory.
In other words, Shazier was one of the best linebackers in the game at the peak of his career. A first-round pick from The Ohio State University, Shazier shined everywhere on the field.
With there now being 50 days to go until the #Steelers season opener, here is every postseason turnover caused by Ryan Shazier.
In six playoff games, Shazier recorded:
2 forced fumbles
1 fumble recovery
Shazier was a game changer during the ’15 & ’16 postseason. pic.twitter.com/nMGgjfFZnX
— Daniel Valente (@StatsGuyDaniel) July 20, 2019
The Injury and the Road to Recovery
While playing the Bengals in a Monday Night Football game on December 4th 2017, Shazier suffered the injury that ultimately led to his retirement. On second and five, Andy Dalton threw a quick pass to rookie Josh Malone for about two-three yards.
As Shazier went for the tackle, he dove forward with his head, hitting Malone awkwardly. He was unable to move his legs and was hospitalized quickly.
— The Spotting Board (@SpottingBoard) December 5, 2017
The next morning, it was revealed that Shazier had suffered a spinal contusion. He underwent surgery that kept him out of the league for the next two years.
Doctors gave him a 20% of ever walking again. Beating the odds, two years later Shazier had recovered and was even able to run again. He stayed hopeful for a return to the Steelers but it didn’t pan out, unfortunately.
Nevertheless, his recovery tale is inspiring and showed his passion for the game. Moreover, one of the most emotional moments of this recovery came when Shazier walked on-stage to announce the Steelers draft pick in 2018.
Although Shazier had to walk away from a promising NFL career, he is still thriving. He got married in 2019 while also celebrating the birth of his second child.
Further, Shazier has taken on business ventures to set himself up for success. Additionally, he aims to earn a masters degree from the University of Pittsburgh in business.