Steelers linebacker who suffered scary back injury needed an unexpected surgery and reportedly may not play football again


ryan shazier injuryJohn
Grieshop/Getty

  • Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier was
    hospitalized on Monday after making a head-first
    tackle.
  • Shazier underwent spinal surgery on Thursday despite
    the team saying on Tuesday that he was not expected to need
    it.
  • A neurologist who consults with the NFLPA said Shazier
    may not play football again.

The Pittsburgh
Steelers on Thursday announced
that linebacker Ryan Shazier
underwent spinal surgery after
suffering a spinal injury from a head-on tackle against the
Cincinnati Bengals
on Monday.

Additionally, ESPN’s
Michele Steele reported on Twitter
a neurologist who consults
with the NFLPA said the injury is “more severe” than expected and
Shazier may not play football again. Steele
noted
the neurologist had not seen Shazier’s medical records
and was only giving his professional opinion.

“Just got off phone w neurologist Dr Anthony Alessi, who consults
w NFLPA, asked him what he makes of Shazier’s spinal
stabilization surgery,” Steele wrote. “‘It’s not good…We’re not
going to see him this season. He may not play football again.'”

Steele
also reported via Twitter
: “Alessi says surgery is needed
when the ‘bones around his spinal cord are dislocated. This is a
more severe injury (than a contusion.) This is a much more severe
situation on our hands than we thought.'”

After making a head-first tackle on Monday, Shazier laid on the
field for minutes afterward, grabbing both his head and his back
and not moving his legs. He was carted off the field and taken to
a hospital.

On Tuesday, the team said his condition was improving and he
was
not expected to need surgery
.

It’s unclear what has happened since Tuesday, only that Shazier’s
condition has not improved in the way the team had hoped. The
team announced Shazier had been moved from Cincinnati to a
hospital in Pittsburgh on Wednesday.

Shazier tweeted on Tuesday in response to the well-wishes from
around the NFL world:

ESPN reported on Tuesday that Steelers linebacker Vince Williams
said Shazier told him at the time of the injury that he had
feeling in his lower extremities.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that the surgery will take
months of recovery, putting Shazier’s career at risk.

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