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Steelers' Ryan Shazier 'definitely' believes he'll play again


Injured Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier insisted over the weekend that he’ll one day suit up in black and yellow again, despite the fact that he suffered a catastrophic spinal injury in December.

“I’m taking it one step at a time, but I know the Lord,” Shazier said Saturday night at a gala honoring the late Steelers owner Dan Rooney. “He has a plan for me, and I definitely feel like I’ll be back out there.”

Shazier has spent much of the time since his injury in a wheelchair, though he recently posted video of himself working out and seeking to get back into shape. He also took in some of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday night.

The odds are long, bordering on impossible, but Shazier is apparently trying to remain positive. “I know some days are harder than others, but it’s not a sprint. It’s a marathon, and you just gotta continue to push,” he said. “I feel like the more positive you are, the easier it is for you to deal with the situation you’re in and the easier it is to continue to push through.”

It’s already a done deal that Shazier won’t return to the field in 2018; Steelers GM Kevin Colbert dismissed that idea, saying “He knows that, and we know that.” But beyond that? Shazier is 25, and clearly possessed of a voracious work ethic.

“Every day is tough, but we just try to take one step at a time in this journey,” Shazier said, adding that the support of Steelers fans keeps him going. “I know a lot of people say I’m an inspiration to them, but honestly the support I’ve been getting has allowed me to just stay positive and be able to push through every day also.”

Ryan Shazier hopes to suit up for the Steelers again one day. (AP file photo)

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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.

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