PITTSBURGH -- Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier on Wednesday made his first appearance at practice since suffering a spinal injury on Dec. 4
Shazier posted a picture of himself on his Instagram account in the Steelers' indoor practice facility. He was sitting in a wheelchair in the picture while wearing Steelers gear.
I want to thank the Lord for the first downs that he has been allowing me to achieve. The touchdown is going to come in his timing, but today was a first down. I was finally able to make it to practice with my teammates. It's great to be back for practices and meetings. Just to be able to feel a part of it means the world. So I'm working harder than I ever have to get back. Ive been making strides over the past month and continue to make progress. Taking it day-by-day, but I'm far from done. The Lord has not finished his work yet. I want to say thank you to the fans and Steelers Nation for the prayers. If it wasn't for my family, friends and your prayers I wouldn't be were I am now. They have lifted me and my family through this journey and I ask for you to continue praying for me, as I continue to work daily on improving my health. #Shalieve#Steelers#prayfor50
Shazier underwent spinal stabilization surgery on Dec. 7 at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center hospital, and a report by WPXI-Pittsburgh last week stated that he has recently regained feeling in his legs since the accident. Shazier was injured during the Monday Night Football game against the Bengals and placed on a backboard at Paul Brown Stadium before being transported to a local hospital.
The Steelers have paid tribute to Shazier by wearing customized No. 50 shirts and cleats. He was able to watch the team's regular-season game against the Patriots in Week 15 from a suite in Heinz Field.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger clearly had Shazier on his mind during an early-morning session with the media on Wednesday. When he was asked about the possibility of his own retirement, he referenced Shazier's injury.
"You have to treat every game like it could be your last because you never know when it is. We saw an example obviously earlier this season with Ryan [Shazier]," Roethlisberger said. "You never know when it could be your last. I'm hoping it's not his last, but you have to go out and play every play and enjoy every play and every game like it could be your last."