Steelers LB Shazier undergoes spinal surgery

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The Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday announced that linebacker Ryan Shazier underwent surgery after suffering a spinal injury from a head-on tackle against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday.

Steelers teammates express optimism and concern for Ryan Shazier as he undergoes testing for a spine injury.

Shazier left Paul Brown Stadium on a stretcher less than four minutes into his team's 23-20 victory over Cincinnati following a tackle that left the 25-year-old writhing on the turf, his legs motionless.

On Wednesday, Shazier was transported from University of Cincinnati Medical Center to a UPMC hospital in the greater Pittsburgh area.

Dr. Anthony Alessi, who consults with the NFL Players Association, told Michele Steele‏ of ESPN that although he hasn't examined Shazier, he does believe that Shazier's spinal stabilization surgery is a procedure that indicates a very serious injury.

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"All I am is hopeful that he gets well", he said.

Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler knows the perils of playing linebacker in the National Football League firsthand.

Ian Rapoport elaborated on the statement just a bit, noting the possibility that Shazier may never play football again. "I'm more anxious about him".

The Steelers would prefer Shazier be with them but aren't about to make excuses without him.

Meanwhile, Shazier addressed fans through a social media post and thanked everyone who had sent him their prayers and well wishes. "As football players, we know the risk we're taking when we play", he said. Your support is uplifting to me and my family.

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