Ryan Shazier’s work with Steelers ‘uplifting,’ GM Kevin Colbert says
Ryan Shazier already is taking advantage of the chance to contribute to the Steelers in 2018.
Shazier, whose football future is in jeopardy after he sustained a spinal cord injury in December, has been reporting to UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on a daily basis to work out and attend meetings, general manager Kevin Colbert said Thursday.
Shazier recently was released from a hospital after a two-month stay, and he continues outpatient rehabilitation exercises as he tries to regain movement in his lower extremities. In his most recent sign of progress, the 25-year-old inside linebacker lifted himself from a chair, with some assistance, and stood and waved at fans during a Penguins game a few weeks ago.
Shazier is under contract for 2018 and will make $8.7 million as part of the fifth-year option the Steelers picked up last spring. Team president Art Rooney said last week that Shazier would have a role with the Steelers next season in some capacity.
“From a physical standpoint, he’s continuing to work to overcome this injury,” Colbert said. “We’ve enabled him to be involved with the football part of it because we think it’s important for him to still have that in front of him.”
Colbert said Shazier shows up at the South Side facility each morning to work out. Then, he spends times with coaches watching film or sitting in on scouting meetings. After that, Shazier goes off-site to do his rehab exercises.
“The great thing about it is Ryan does as much for us as we do for him,” Colbert said. “The way he works at this, the attitude he has shown in his rehabilitation is really uplifting. Never once has he said, ‘Why me?’
“I know that is an uplifting gesture for us and those that deal with him. He shows us that everybody has problems, but he’s going to work to overcome his as we should ours.”