Ryan Shazier's NFL career has come to an end. On Wednesday, the Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker took to Twitter to announce he's retiring from the NFL. This comes nearly three years after suffering a brutal spinal cord injury, which could have led to paralysis. Shazier was working to get back in the NFL but decided retiring is the best move for him.
"When I was five years old I made the greatest discovery of my life: I discovered a game I love, the game of football," Shazier said a two-part video posted on Twitter. "Ever since then, I've given my life to the game. I love everything about it — playing it, practicing it, studying it, watching it, talking about it and thinking about it. Football gave me everything I could ever want and more. It taught me about hard work, dedication, teamwork."
Thank You 🙏🏽... pic.twitter.com/JS3diYi2ar— Ryan Shazier (@RyanShazier) September 9, 2020
Shazier went on to say he convinced himself he was Superman because of the way he played. "But then, the moment I got hurt, I stopped being Superman," he said. "And that was difficult to make sense... "I'm going to step away from the game for a while to see what life has to offer. I know football will always here for me when I need it, but right now, I'm excited to explore some new challenges in different paths."
Shazier said he will update everyone on his next move and then thanked his wife, kids, trainer and the Steelers for their support. "You have been with me through the good times and the rough times, but never more than through my recovery. ... And thank you to everyone all around the world who prayed for me. I need your strength and your spirit, and you gave it to me."
Shazier suffered the injury in December 2017 during a Monday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Despite the injury, Shazier was named to the Pro Bowl after finishing the season with 89 tackles, three interceptions and 11 passes defended. He made his first Pro Bowl in 2016 after registering 87 tackles 3.5 sacks, three interceptions and nine passes defended. The Steelers drafted Shazier No. 15 overall in 2014 after a strong career at Ohio State where he was named an All-American in 2013.