The Steelers placed linebacker Ryan Shazier on the physically unable to perform list on Monday.
Shazier, 26, suffered a season-ending and career-threatening back injury on Dec. 4, 2017 and was placed on the injured reserve. He spent the 2018 season on the PUP list, as well.
Remaining on the PUP list means that Shazier continues to accrue time toward his NFL pension and benefits and will retain his medical coverage through the team.
In March, the Steelers tolled the final season of Shazier’s contract into 2019. He will be paid the league minimum for a player of his service time.
“We will continue to support Ryan’s efforts to return to play,” general manager Kevin Colbert said to Steelers.com in March. “Although he won’t be able to help us on the field in 2019, his leadership, insight, and emotional support have always been very valuable to us, and we look forward to his contributions in our pursuit of a championship.”
Shazier has maintained his desire to return to competition someday, and has posted videos of himself lifting weights and performing other physical activities as he recovers.
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Shazier was diagnosed with a spinal contusion in the immediate aftermath of the injury. His full prognosis has never been released.
The Steelers drafted Michigan linebacker Devin Bush in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft on Thursday. He is expected to be Shazier’s spiritual replacement as the Steelers inside linebacker. Veteran Jon Bostic, who was signed as a free agent before the 2018 season, was released on Saturday.