The #Pittsburgh Steelers have issued an update regarding the medical condition of linebacker #Ryan Shazier, who suffered a spine injury in their 23-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday. In a joint statement released by the Steelers on Tuesday, Dr. David Okonkwo (UPMC) and Dr. Joseph Cheng (UCMC) of the University of Cincinnati Medical Center said that Shazier will undergo further testing and evaluation on his spine injury. The doctors said the linebacker will be monitored and treated by the neurosurgery experts at UC Medical Center in the next 24 to 48 hours until he has been cleared to return to Pittsburgh. Shazier sustained the back injury after his head collided with Bengals receiver Josh Malone's thigh.
Shazier laid down on the field for several minutes before he was placed on a stretcher and carted off the field.
Shazier will not undergo surgery
In a medical update released by the Steelers shortly after the game, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said Shazier underwent a CT scan and an MRI at the hospital. Colbert added that the linebacker will not undergo surgery at this time. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network Insider reported that Shazier has shown promising improvement as he felt some movement in his lower extremities, based on information from his sources. According to medical experts, movement will slowly return as Shazier recovers. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said the team is focused on Shazier’s health and not on his return to the field. Tomlin, Steelers owner Art Rooney II, and Colbert visited Shazier in the hospital after the game.
Steelers receiver suspended one game
The NFL has suspended Steelers rookie receiver #JuJu Smith-Schuster and Cincinnati safety George Iloka for one game without pay for violating the league’s policy on safety. Smith-Schuster was suspended for his devastating block on Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict that took the latter out of the game. Smith-Schuster also taunted Burfict after his hit, which contributed to his suspension. After their game, Smith-Schuster tweeted an apology for his hit, saying: “I don’t have any intentions to hurt anyone when I play football.” Smith-Schuster added that he didn’t mean to target Burfict as he was simply trying to throw a block for his teammate. “I apologize for standing over him and that isn’t me. Praying he gets better,” said the rookie wideout. For his part, Iloka was suspended for his illegal hit to the helmet of Steelers receiver Antonio Brown on a game-tying touchdown catch with 3:55 left late in the fourth quarter.