Even casual fans of the NFL will know the story of Ryan Shazier, the Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker who suffered a horrific neck injury in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals in 2017. Shazier is a natural-born leader who'd established himself as one of the best defensive players in the NFL over his short four-year career. His injury was devastating for the Steelers and the NFL - in the blink of an eye, the Steelers had lost one of their best players and an inspirational character had seemingly lost his livelihood. In the immediate aftermath of the injury, Shazier had to undergo spinal stablization surgery and it was unclear if he would ever walk again.
But Ryan Shazier is not a man to take no for an answer. Over the past 16 months, Shazier has been undergoing serious rehab in Pittsburgh. Using the hashtag Shalieve, he has emerged as an inspirational presence in the Steelers sideline across last season, most memorably when the Steelers returned to Cincinnati last season and the stadium where Shazier thought he'd lost everything.
It’s been a long journey, but this is still a ways to go. But it all started here in Cincinnati. Today was an amazing day I was so thankful to be able to tell everyone thank you. #Shalieve pic.twitter.com/wItKXNp5ya
— Ryan Shazier (@RyanShazier) October 14, 2018
Shazier continues to make incredible strides. Yesterday, Shazier posted the following video to instagram of him doing a box jump with the assistance of a member of Steelers staff.
The whole NFL world was amazed by Shazier's progress, with everyone from Tom Brady to Lev Bell saluting the jump on social media. It's only one small box jump but it's proof of Shazier's character and evidence of how far you can get if you push yourself. Who knows what Ryan Shazier has in store for us next.