CINCINNATI -- Before the Pittsburgh Steelers took on the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday, Steelers' linebacker Ryan Shazier stopped by the University of Cincinnati Medical Center to thank the staff who cared for him after he received a spinal injury during a game against the Bengals in Dec. 2017.
Shazier posted a picture on social media Saturday, showing him with the staff members and a caption thanking the team that cared for him.
The team at UC responded on social media, saying,
We're so grateful that you came by today, Ryan! It is our pleasure and privilege to serve all of our patients - and nothing makes us happier than to see your success! #Shalieve
— UC Health (@uc_health) October 14, 2018
Shazier was cared for at UC in the immediate aftermath of a head-first tackle on wide receiver Josh Malone during last December's game against the Bengals. He underwent a spinal stabilization surgery for his injuries and has been recovering ever since.
He was in a wheelchair after his surgery, but on Feb. 1, he posted a picture online of himself smiling and standing with the support of his teammate Ben Roethlisberger. Since then, he has been spotted walking unassisted.
The Steelers placed Shazier on injured reserved after the hit, ending his 2017 season. However, Steelers President Art Rooney II said Shazier would continue to be a team leader off the field as he served as an inspiration to the team.
"You look at him, what he's been through, how he's handled it combined with his love for the game and his mind for the game, it's amazing," Steelers linebacker Tyler Matakevich said, according to the Associated Press. "It hasn't changed him. He's been the same guy since the day I got here."