Former Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier was taken to a hospital for further evaluation after being strapped to a backboard and carted off the field with a back injury on Monday Night Football.
Shazier suffered the injury while making a tackle in the first quarter of the Pittsburgh Steelers' game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night. After hitting Bengals receiver Josh Malone, Shazier fell to the ground and reached for his lower back. Shazier was seen moving his hands and arms, but was not seen moving his legs.
Injury update: #Steelers LB Ryan Shazier has been taken to the hospital for further evaluation on his back. He will not return to tonights game & there will be no further updates at this time.— Burt Lauten (@SteelersPRBurt) December 5, 2017
According to a report from NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala, Shazier was taken to the UC Trauma Center in Cincinnati.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said in his postgame press conference that he did not have any updates on Shazier's condition at that time, but that the team would release an official update at the appropriate time. Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, however, reported that Shazier's condition was "better than it could have been."
Ryan Shazier "better than what it could have been," per team source. Looking better— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) December 5, 2017
According to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, two Steelers played referred to Shazier's injury as a spinal cord concussion, an injury from which other football players have been able to make a full recovery and eventually return to the field.
Some good news coming out from Steelers. Two players called Shazier's injury a spinal chord concussion, comparable to Tommy Maddox injury in 2002; Maddox missed 1 game. Encouraging news, another said.— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) December 5, 2017
Current and former Ohio State football players were also among those who took to Twitter to share their best wishes for Shazier.
Heard the news about one of my favorite players man. Prayers to you @RyanShazier You will never understand how much you influenced my game. Prayers to you and the family.— Jerome Baker Jr. (@Lastname_Baker) December 5, 2017
So many prayers being sent to @RyanShazier right now. One of the best guys I know. Thinking about you and your family 10.......— Zach Boren (@ZBoren44) December 5, 2017
@RyanShazier the definition of what the grind will get you. Not many work like him, very gifted pray it's nothing serious that's family never want to see someone like that— Michael Thomas (@Cantguardmike) December 5, 2017
Prayers up for @RyanShazier— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) December 5, 2017