Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier walked out on stage to announce the team’s first-round pick at tonight’s draft—one of only a few public appearances that he has made since suffering a serious spinal injury during a game in December, and the first one in which he’s been able to walk without assistance.
The crowd in Dallas cheered loudly for this inspirational and emotional moment. For anyone who saw Shazier’s hit on Monday Night Football, where he made contact with a Bengals player and then collapsed to the ground with his lower body frozen and lifeless, the idea of him ever walking again seemed unlikely. Though he was unsteady and needed assistance to cross the stage in Dallas, he was really doing it, he was walking. Ever since his injury, Shazier has insisted that he will play football again. Without knowing the specific details of his injury, it seemed ambitious that he could someday make it back onto the field. But Shazier’s appearance at the draft proved that he’s made significant progress in a short amount of time, so maybe a return to the NFL is a possibility.
Hands down, the BEST moment for night one of the NFL Draft! Keep Inspiring Ryan!
Amazing moment.— ESPN (@espn) April 27, 2018
Ryan Shazier walks to the podium and announces the Steelers' 1st Round pick.pic.twitter.com/5fbeVQTARj