Ryan Shazier of Pittsburgh Steelers – & # 39; My dream & # 39; is to play again

PITTSBURGH – In his first formal press conference since a tragic spinal injury in early December, Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier said that playing football again is "my dream"

"Yes (God) It gives me the opportunity to play again, I'm going to go out and give everything I have, "Shazier said Wednesday, addressing the Pittsburgh media gathered at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.

Shazier, whose vigorous recovery has inspired fans and costumes. Around the NFL, he walked to the podium with a cane. His next physical milestone is getting rid of the cane, he said. He spent the first few minutes of the press conference thanking friends, family, teammates and fans for their support over the past six months.

An attempted attack against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 13 left Shazier motionless at Paul Brown Stadium and resulted in temporary paralysis. On December 6, Shazier underwent spinal stabilization surgery. He used a wheelchair for months before graduating to receive outpatient treatment and a walking routine, which he presented at the NFL draft stage in late April.

"Just because I got hurt does not mean I do not love football If you give your best in everything you do, it will be easier when something happens to you. You never have to look back and regret that it was not strong enough. I got hurt, and I'm still going to give everything I have to go back. "

Ryan Shazier

When asked why he wants to play again, Shazier cited a game he loves since he was 4 years old.

"Just because I got hurt does not mean I do not love football." Shazier said. "If you do your best in everything you do, it's easier when something happens to you, you never have to look back and regret that it was not hard enough, I got hurt, and I'm still going to give everything I have to come back to."

Shazier added that a return to the game could force him to "play a little safer." In the work in question, Shazier's helmet collided with the hip area of ​​Bengals receiver Josh Malone. The new boarding rules of the NFL require that players take the helmet completely from the play.

Shazier acknowledges that his desire to play a sport that marginalized him will attract skeptics. But Shazier only deals with positivity, he said, admitting that he has had a few bad days since the injury. He recalled asking the doctors at the hospital, shortly after the injury, if he could walk again, if he could play next season.

"I've read some articles, I've seen some things and people always thinking about the worst case," said Shazier. "When you come back and see where you come from and where people thought you would be where you are now and where I plan to be, it really makes you appreciate every moment, every step I take, every moment I'm here with Guys … we take things for granted Maybe you do not know that you even take it for granted. "

Remembering the night of the injury, Shazier admitted to being afraid of the unknown. But he is at peace with the game and his place in it. Shazier will spend next season in any position that coaches deem appropriate, possibly serving as coach of unofficial linebackers.

"I understand that football is a dangerous game, things can happen," Shazier said. "I accepted that in the moment, I accepted what happened to me and I went ahead"


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