The Pittsburgh Steelers placed linebacker Ryan Shazier on the Physically Unable to Perform list on Monday.
It will mark the second straight campaign in which Shazier will spend the season on the PUP list. He hasn’t played since suffering a spinal injury in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Dec. 4, 2017.
Shazier is slated to make $473,000 this season.
The 26-year-old Shazier has remained motivated toward playing in the NFL again. He reiterated that a few months ago when speaking to reporters shortly before the Super Bowl.
“I definitely want to play,” Shazier said during a media tour. “I try to tell people at the end of the day, just because I got hurt, doesn’t mean I lost the love of the game of football. I love football so much. I just care about the game. I really feel like the game has taken me places I never expected to go.
“I am putting everything into it. I feel like I was the best linebacker in the league. I don’t want to leave that as my legacy. I feel like I have so much to show.”
Shazier was a Pro Bowl selection in each of his last two playing seasons. Overall, he has 303 tackles, seven forced fumbles and seven interceptions in 46 career games (41 starts).
The first-round pick in 2014 also understands that he is now an inspirational figure to others who have faced similar challenges.
“Every day I am constantly trying to get better,” Shazier said. “One milestone after the next. I try to make goals for myself constantly, so I always have something to reach for. I have been knocking them off one step at a time.
“I have been working my tail off. Every day I am grinding.”
The Steelers selected Michigan linebacker Devin Bush with the 10th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft in hopes that he could be a possible replacement for Shazier.
Pittsburgh also signed undrafted free agent P.J. Locke on Monday. He played at Texas.
–Field Level Media