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If able, Ryan Shazier wouldn’t be scared of playing football again

Ryan Shazier addressed media to talk about his rehabilitation, progress and dreams of still playing football.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

When Ryan Shazier was injured against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football on December 4th, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and their fan base, didn’t know what to think. As they watched their budding star linebacker carted off the field with no movement in his lower body, everyone wasn’t sure what to expect.

After the spine stabilization surgery, his first public comments and eventually walking across the stage at the 2018 NFL Draft, Shazier was very outspoken regarding his desire to play football again one day.

As Shazier addressed the media at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex Wednesday, his goal remained the same. When most fans and media members hear this they immediately think about the prospect of a man who was partially paralyzed by this game suiting up again and putting himself at risk of further injury.

This commonly leads to statements like “Let’s just hope he returns to a full life...not football.”

But that isn’t how Shazier thinks. He is cut from a different cloth.

Shazier wants to play again, but for the first time he talked about whether he would be afraid of re-injury if he did indeed regain his playing form.

In case you didn’t know — he isn’t scared.

Some will remain skeptical regarding Shazier’s overall progress, but the fact remains the progress he has shown to date is remarkable.

Think about it.

On December 4th he couldn’t move his lower extremities. Fast forward to the NFL Draft in April, and he walked, albeit assisted by his fiance, across the stage to announce the Steelers’ pick of Terrell Edmunds in the first round.

Absolutely amazing, if you ask me.

My personal opinions of Shazier and a potential return don’t matter, and to be honest no one’s opinions matter other than No. 50’s. Some scoff at the thought of him playing again, but when they watched him being carted off the field at Paul Brown Stadium in December, I would assume many would scoff at him walking across the stage in Dallas to announce the team’s draft pick.

I’ve learned not to bet against Ryan Shazier. He says he is going to play again, and to me that means the man will one day suit up in the black-and-gold again.

Take a look at Shazier walking into the press conference to greet the general media for the first time: