Art Rooney II speaks out on Ryan Shazier’s future with Steelers
Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier has not played since December 2017 due to a severe spinal injury, but he has remained a part of the Steelers’ organization since then.
But what does the future hold for Shazier, whose contract is up?
Steelers owner Art Rooney II spoke out on Shazier’s status on Wednesday, saying Pittsburgh would love to have him back in some form or fashion:
“We’d love to have Ryan back in some capacity,” said Rooney, according to Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com. “I don’t want to get ahead of Ryan. I don’t want to say he’s given up on the idea of being a player. He’s here every day working out. He’s a remarkable young man, a determined young man. I don’t want to speak for him in terms of where he wants to go from here.”
Prior to his injury, Shazier appeared to be on his way to becoming one of the NFL’s best linebackers.
The 27-year-old, who played his collegiate football at Ohio State, was originally selected by the Steelers in the first round (15th pick overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Injuries limited him to nine games during his rookie campaign, and the following year, he appeared in 12 contests and showed significant promise, logging 87 tackles, 3.5 sacks, an interception, a couple of forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
Then, in 2016, Shazier made his first Pro Bowl appearance, finishing with almost identical numbers to the year before, totaling 87 tackles, 3.5 sacks, three picks, three forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and nine passes defended.
Shazier earned another Pro Bowl selection in 2017, although he obviously did not get to play due to the injury. In 12 games that season, he registered 89 tackles, an interception, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and 11 passes defended.