Ryan Shazier, who suffered a spinal contusion injury December 4, 2017 during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals, announced his NFL retirement today via Twitter videos where he thanked people who helped him along his football journey, especially those who cheered him on as he regained the ability to walk after spinal stabilization surgery.
“Football gave me everything I wanted and more,” Shazier said. “It taught me about hard work, dedication. Took me to college and the NFL, it made me money and gave me a life most people could only dream about.”
Shazier, drafted in the first round (No. 15) by the Steelers in 2014, made back-to-back Pro Bowls in 2016-17 and had 299 tackles over 46 games.
“It’s been over 1,000 days since I got hurt on the field “ Shazier said. “To lose the game in a way I never envisioned has not been easy. For you to play the game of football the way I did, you convince yourself you’re Superman. That nothing can stop you — but then the moment I got hurt I stopped being Superman, and that was difficult to make sense of.
“But the way I look at it, God put us all here for a purpose. For 20 years, he let me play football, and now it’s time for me to do what he wants me to do.”
Thank You 🙏🏽… pic.twitter.com/xqNoxD3URT
— Ryan Shazier (@RyanShazier) September 9, 2020