Steelers LB Ryan Shazier regained feeling in his legs for the first time since suffering a spinal injury in Week 13, according to a report from WPXI-Pittsburgh.
Shazier underwent spinal stabilization surgery on Dec. 7, three days after he was injured on “Monday Night Football” vs. the Bengals while making a tackle with his head down.
Shazier’s father, Vernon Shazier, declined to comment on the specifics of his son’s recovery but told WPXI, "He's making progress daily. He's a long ways from the night when he was laying on the field.”
Shazier told his Dad shortly after suffering the injury that resulted in him being carted off Heinz Field on a backboard and rushed to Pittsburgh Medical Center Hospital that he couldn’t feel his legs. He asked Vernon, a Pastor, to “pray for me,” according to the report.
“When your child is laying there in a situation like this, I was hoping and wishing i could switch positions with him,” Vernon Shazier said. "When he went down, all of us went down with him.”
The Steelers have rallied around their leader, who returned to Heinz Field for his team’s Week 15 game vs. the Patriots and received a rousing and emotional ovation from fans. Shazier has been visited frequently in the hospital by teammates, who’ve honored him by donning on-field gear with Shazier’s No. 50.
Vernon was asked by WPXI if he thinks his 25-year-old son, a two-time Pro Bowler and the Steelers’ second-leading tackler and co-leader in interceptions despite missing the final four games, will again play football one day.
“Yes, yes I do,” he said. “I Shalieve.”