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Ryan Shazier injury: Steelers linebacker leaves with right knee injury

Shazier was replaced by Sean Spence early in the third quarter.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers rookie linebacker Ryan Shazier, throughout the first half, looked as though his ability in coverage had improved quite a bit from his first two games.

But on the second play from scrimmage in the second half, it looked like he may be done for the night.

The Steelers strung out a left-side run by Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart wide, and LB Lawrence Timmons fell back on Shazier's right leg, sending him immediately to the sideline. Shazier was shown leaving the field to the locker room, and was replaced by third-year LB Sean Spence. Steelers Digest editor Bob Labriola reported the injury was to his knee.

Shazier is one of the biggest stories for the Steelers so far this season, both positively and negatively. He's shown flashes of great potential but, like many rookies, struggled in coverage. He was playing a solid football game before the injury.

Since he left, the Steelers forced a fumble by Carolina quarterback Cam Newton, giving the Steelers their first takeaway of the 2014 season.