Steelers LB Ryan Shazier transported to hospital after scary back injury

Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier was placed on a backboard and carted off the field at Paul Brown Stadium early in the first quarter of Monday’s game against the Bengals.

The Steelers’ leading tackler lowered his head to stop Bengals receiver Josh Malone less than four minutes into the game. Shazier, in his fourth year from Ohio State, had his hands over his head when carted off the field. Steelers linebacker Vince Williams was in tears kneeling next to Shazier as trainers tended to him.

Shazier was moving his arms and hands, but there was concern because of minimal movement in his legs. 

The Bengals had the ball for the first time when Shazier was injured and capitalized on a Ben Roethlisberger interception with a 35-yard Randy Bullock field goal with 10:48 remaining in the first quarter.

The Steelers did not immediately provide a status for Shazier, but did confirm a back injury. After a brief evaluation in the locker room, Shazier was transported to a nearby hospital. He was ruled out for the remainder of the game and the Steelers said there would be no further updates until after the game.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said following Pittsburgh’s 23-20 comeback win he did not have an update on Shazier. He did say the 25-year-old linebacker was “receiving the necessary medical attention.”

NFL Media reported Tomlin and general manager Kevin Colbert took a police escort to the hospital. The team was told Shazier has a spinal contusion with some swelling is involved. They won’t know more until the swelling goes down, but it is encouraging news for Shazier. Former Steelers quarterback Tommy Maddox had a similar injury in 2002 and missed just one game. 

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