Former Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier officially announced his retirement from football in a post to his Twitter account on Wednesday.
Shazier, 27, suffered a spinal injury in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Dec. 4, 2017 that left him unable to move his legs. After undergoing spinal stabilization surgery, Shazier walked across the stage to deliver the Steelers’ first-round pick at the 2018 NFL Draft.
In Nov. 2018, nearly a year after his injury, Shazier resumed jogging and had stayed engaged with the team, serving as a mentor to young linebacker Devin Bush during the 2019 season.
After spending two seasons on the team’s physically unable to perform list, this March, the Steelers placed Shazier on the retired list, a move that allowed him to continue to serve with the team in a professional capacity while no longer impacting the Steelers’ salary cap figure.
Shazier was not with the team during training camp this season, with head coach Mike Tomlin saying that Shazier’s focus was elsewhere this fall.
“He has my, and our, full support in terms of that,” Tomlin said. “I hope that he’s going to have some time for us in the future, but as he lays the foundation for the rest of his life, that’s where he’s focusing his energy.”
Wednesday, Shazier officially announced his intention to retire from football.
“I’m here to let the world know that today I am officially retiring from the game I love so much,” he said. “It’s been over a thousand days since I got hurt on the field. To lose the game in a way I never envisioned has not been easy.”
Thank You 🙏🏽… pic.twitter.com/JS3diYi2ar
— Ryan Shazier (@RyanShazier) September 9, 2020
A first-round draft pick out of Ohio State in 2014, Shazier started 41 games in four seasons for the Steelers and finishes his career with 299 tackles, seven sacks, seven interceptions, seven forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.
Shazier said he’s going to step away from football for now to “see what else life has to offer.”