Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, normal supervisor Kevin Colbert and group president Artwork Rooney II visited Shazier earlier than heading again to Pittsburgh. Tomlin known as their dialog “regular” and that Shazier was involved in regards to the well-being of the remainder of the group, together with good buddy and fellow inside linebacker Vince Williams.
“Ryan is a legit chief,” Tomlin stated. “He’s asking in regards to the guys, Vince significantly. I informed him in regards to the guys. We talked about how the sport unfolded.”
And never about Shazier’s prognosis.
“It was painful to get on that airplane final night time, however that’s life,” Tomlin stated. “We notice and perceive he’s in actually good palms and is getting skilled medical care. He challenged us to maneuver on with what we have to transfer on with.”
Shazier’s damage got here on a comparatively innocuous-looking play. Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton hit Josh Malone for a brief three-yard acquire, with Shazier hitting Malone sq. within the again. Shazier, in his fourth season after being taken within the first spherical of the 2014 draft, led along with his head whereas making the deal with.
He instantly rolled over onto his again, elevating his palms within the air whereas his legs went limp. He was positioned on a backboard then placed on a stretcher earlier than being taken to the trauma centre at College of Cincinnati Medical Heart whereas gamers from each side watched in silence or knelt in prayer.
“I’ve been in soccer all my life. Sadly accidents happen, critical accidents happen occasionally, they’re able to shaking you,” Tomlin stated. “All of us take care of it in several methods.”
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger stated on his weekly radio spot on 93.7 the Fan that he’d heard “encouraging issues,” however that Shazier was “not out of the woods.”
Pittsburgh appeared to spend a lot of the primary half in a daze following Shazier’s exit, falling behind by 17 factors earlier than rallying to win their seventh straight on Chris Boswell’s subject objective on the ultimate snap, culminating greater than three hours of often brutal play.
The groups mixed for 239 penalty yards and 5 private fouls, together with a taunting penalty on Steelers rookie huge receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster for a blindside hit on Cincinnati linebacker Vontaze Burfict that resulted in Smith-Schuster being hit with a one-game suspension.
Bengals defensive again George Iloka was additionally suspended one sport for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Steelers huge receiver Antonio Brown.
“I’ll acknowledge there have been some unlucky issues in that sport that we don’t want in our sport by each side,” Tomlin stated. “My job as head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers is to work laborious to attenuate these issues that we’re concerned in earlier than they happen and we do.
“However they did (happen) final night time in an occasion or two and we’ll make an accounting of that and work laborious to verify they don’t occur once more.”
Whereas Tomlin, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis and the league grapple with find out how to rein in a rivalry by which the dangerous blood solely appears to develop with every passing 12 months, assist for Shazier prolonged far past the NFL.
Ian Cole, a defenceman on the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins, known as it a “shock” to see Shazier go down so awkwardly.
“We’re not mates, we’re not buddies, by any means,” stated Cole, who has met Shazier a handful of instances. “However you do really feel that kinship and it’s powerful to see a man go down like that, particularly somebody that’s as gifted and as big part of a group as he’s.”
The Steelers (10-2) spent Tuesday taking a breath earlier than attempting to regroup for a go to by AFC North rival Baltimore (7-5) Sunday night time.
A win and Pittsburgh will wrap up its third division title in 4 years, a prospect made tougher with out Shazier, although Tomlin is properly conscious prioritizing the impression on the lineup appears trivial.
Nonetheless, it’s a part of the job.
“After they come into the constructing tomorrow,” Tomlin stated, “we are going to reset and begin anew like we at all times do.”