Ryan Shazier undergoes spinal stabilization surgery days after scary hit

  • Stephen Pianovich
  • Land of 10
3:16 p.m Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017 Sports

Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier underwent spinal stabilization surgery this week, the team announced Thursday.

Shazier, a former Ohio State player, was part of a scary situation on Monday night when he had to be carted off the field against the Bengals. Shazier was being treated for a spine injury, but the team did not initially think that it would require surgery. Shazier is back at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center after spending a few days in a Cincinnati hospital.

Ryan Shazier has spinal stabilization surgery

Statement from UPMC Neurosurgeons & #Steelers Team Physicians on Ryan Shazier pic.twitter.com/nE7xgsx7Tx

— Burt Lauten (@SteelersPRBurt) December 7, 2017

The fact Shazier needed surgery points to the injury being more severe than initially believed. ESPN reported Michele Steele spoke with a neurologist, Dr. Anthony Alessi, who said Shazier might never play football again.

Just got off phone w neurologist Dr Anthony Alessi, who consults w NFLPA, asked him what he makes of Shazier's spinal stabilization surgery. "It's not good…We're not going to see him this season. He may not play football again."

— Michele Steele (@ESPNMichele) December 7, 2017

Alessi says surgery is needed when the "bones around his spinal cord are dislocated. This is a more severe injury (than a contusion.)"

"This is a much more severe situation on our hands than we thought."

— Michele Steele (@ESPNMichele) December 7, 2017

Shazier, 25, was a standout for the Buckeyes between 2011-2013. He was picked by the Steelers in the first round (15th overall) in the 2014 NFL Draft and was picked for the Pro Bowl in 2016.

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