Steelers’ Ryan Shazier Improving, While Two Others Are Suspended

The injury came about four minutes into Monday’s game, which the Steelers won, 23-20. Shazier led with his helmet while attempting to tackle receiver Josh Malone and then fell to the ground grabbing the middle of his back. It was clear right away that he had use of his upper body, but his legs did not appear to move. After a lengthy injury delay, he was strapped to a board and taken off the field.

In a sport that has been grappling with the long-term brain damage that it inflicts on many of its players, Shazier’s injury was a reminder of the catastrophic damage that can happen in the short-term. The play and its aftermath were reminiscent of similar incidents that resulted in temporary or permanent paralysis, including those involving Kevin Everett of the Buffalo Bills in 2007, Reggie Brown of the Detroit Lions in 1997, Dennis Byrd of the Jets in 1992, Mike Utley of the Detroit Lions in 1991, Derrick Burroughs of the Bills in 1989, and Darryl Stingley of the New England Patriots in 1978.

“We care about that man,” Tomlin said of Shazier during his postgame news conference. “We care about all the men. But that’s just a tough element of our game — one that we…

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