First the first time since his suffering a spinal injury in Week 13 of the 2017 regular season, Pittsburgh Steelers line backer Ryan Shazier met the media.
Shazier underwent spinal stabilization surgery on Dec. 6, 2017.
While the Steelers already placed Shazier on the reserve/physically unable to perform list, a move that ends his 2018 season, the linebacker made it clear he remains hopeful to continue playing.
"My dream is to come back and play football again. I have been working my tail off every single day, so I have that in the back of my mind every single time I go to rehab. I just try to stay positive every day, so I'm just trying to do everything I can to get back." Shakier said.
When asked about a possible timetable for his return Shazier went on to say, "Honestly, they tell me to take it one day at a time. the further we go along in rehab, the better answers they can give me. They feel like I am doing a lot better than they expected."
Shazier continues to utilize a cane to get around, but he hopes to soon reach the next step of recovery where he won't need assistance.
"One of the things I'm looking forward to doing is I just want to be able to start walking a little bit more by myself without using a cane," he said. "And if that's camp, I'm happy for it. If it's the regular season, I'll be happy for it."
Continuing his leadership role
In the meantime, Shazier remains in Pittsburgh to recover and enjoys being around the team.
Shazier is maintaining his position on the team as a leader. He is embracing his role as welcomed source of inspiration and gateway to information for teammates.
"To me, I always felt like you always can make yourself better or the team better by giving everybody all that you have," Shazier said. "That's what I try to do for those guys. They ask me any questions, I'm open in helping them."
In four seasons, Shazier has recorded 205 tackles (98 assists), has deflected 25 passes, seven sacks, seven interceptions and had forced seven fumbles.