Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier has officially retired from the NFL but his dream of playing in the league was accomplished and he is at peace. In the 2017 season, Shazier suffered a severe spinal cord injury that initially left him unable to walk and his NFL career was basically over the moment he suffered a freak injury.
But the Steelers rejected to move on from Shazier, keeping him a part of the team and helping him throughout his rehab process. "When I was 5 years old, I made the greatest discovery of my life," Shazier said in the Twitter video, as quoted on ESPN.
"I discovered the game that I love -- the game of football. Ever since then, I've given my life to the game. I love everything about it ... "Football gave me everything I ever wanted and more. It taught me about hard work, dedication, teamwork.
It took me to college and the NFL. It made me money and gave me a life most people could only dream about. I'm here today to make sure the world knows how much I still love football, how grateful I am for everything football gave me.
And I'm here to let the world know that today I am officially retiring from the game I love so much." The Steelers placed Shazier on the reserve/retired list earlier this season in an administrative move that kept him a member of the organization.
"Ryan's placement on the reserve/retired list serves as a matter of protocol to ensure his continued inclusion within our organization moving forward in his professional career," general manager Kevin Colbert said at the time."
Shazier hoped to go out on a more positive way
Shazier, 28, made two Pro Bowl appearances in his four seasons with the Steelers. "To lose the game in a way I never envisioned has not been easy," Shazier said in his video.
"When you play the game of football the way I did, you convince yourself you're Superman, that nothing can stop you. But then the moment I got hurt, I stopped being Superman. That was difficult to make sense." Last week, Shazier revealed he was trying to figure out his next move.
"It's kind of tough not being able to be around the team as much, just help the young guys or be around the guys that I worked around before," Shazier said. "It's really tough. I'm constantly putting one foot in front of the other, trying to learn different things, trying to figure out my next step, trying to take it one day at a time."