Ryan Shazier announced on Twitter this morning that he's officially retired from the NFL. Shazier has made great progress in his recovery since suffering a spinal injury against the Bengals on Dec. 4, 2017, and has been around the team in a scouting and mentoring role the past two seasons while recovering. Now, Shazier has his sights on the future and his life's work.
"I am here today to make sure the world knows how much I still love football. How grateful I am for everything football game me. I am here today to let the world know that today I am officially retiring from the game I love so much," Shazier said in an emotional video he posted on Twitter. "It's been over 1,000 days since I first got hurt. To lose the game in a way I never envisioned has not been easy. When you play the game of football the way I did, you convince yourself you are Superman. That nothing can stop you. Then, the moment I got hurt, I stopped being Superman and that was difficult to make sense.
"The way I look at it, God put us all here for a purpose. For 20 years he let me play football, and now it's time for me to do what he wants me to do. I am going to step away from the game for a while and see what else life has to offer. I know football always will be here for me if I need it, but right now I am excited to explore some new challenges and different paths."
Shazier has been an inspiration to many since his injury with the way he's dealt with adversity -- showcasing determination, persistence and incredible willpower. Shazier's football career may have come to a conclusion today, but he'll forever have an imprint on the Steelers organization and the city of Pittsburgh with not only his play but the way he carried himself off the field and how he inspired others to deal with life challenges.
Shazier was drafted by the Steelers at 15th overall in the 2014 NFL Draft out of Ohio State and registered 299 tackles, 24 tackles for loss, seven interceptions, seven forced fumbles, seven sacks and three fumble recoveries in his four seasons with Pittsburgh. Shazier was a two-time Pro Bowler (2016, 2017).
Shazier held a press conference with the media in the afternoon to talk about his decision to retire and Steelers' general manager Kevin Colbert joined the session and told him "I want you to know, you can retire from the game of football, but you are never going to retire from being a Pittsburgh Steeler."