John Grieshop/Getty Images
The Pittsburgh Steelers were reportedly given ‘encouraging’ news on LB Ryan Shazier.

Steelers LB Ryan Shazier reportedly has spinal contusion, player getting ‘encouraging’ reports

Ryan Wooden

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier is reportedly at University of Cincinnati Medical Center after suffering a serious back injury against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football.

The Steelers haven’t made any official announcement on his status and Shazier has asked the hospital not to announce any news on his condition, but the latest reports from the locker room are generally positive given that he reportedly couldn’t feel his legs when he was carted to the ambulance.

NFL Network’s Aditi Kinkhabwala reported that that Steelers players were being told following the game that the news on Shazier was encouraging. Shortly after, reports of the extent of the injury surfaced.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette said two players called the injury a spinal concussion and added that former Steelers quarterback Tommy Maddox missed only one game after suffering a spinal contusion in 2012. Bouchette added that another player called it “encouraging news.”

Kinkhabwala also reported the injury was a spinal contusion, and added that there is some swelling involved. A story posted to NFL.com added that team sources told Kinkhabwala “doctors will know more about Shazier’s injury once some of the injury’s swelling subsides.”

Steelers director of communications Burt Lauten tweeted a statement from general manager Kevin Colbert early Tuesday morning which stated that surgery is not required at this time and the team hopes Shazier can return to Pittsburgh later in the day.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and general manager Kevin Colbert were given a police escort to the Level I Trauma Center to check on Shazier, and ESPN’s Michelle Steele reported that Tomlin appears to have left to board the team plane.

There still appears to be a lot to be determined about the severity of his injury, but the fact that Steelers players were told news was positive in the locker room would appear to be a good sign, seeing as it’d be incredibly cruel to mislead a group that was clearly shaken by the injury with such a potentially serious situation.