After a lengthy attempt to get back on an NFL field, Ryan Shazier is officially calling it a career.
Shazier shared an emotional Twitter video on Wednesday announcing his retirement.
“When I was five years old I made the greatest discovery of my life: I discovered a game I love, the game of football. Ever since then, I’ve given my life to the game. I love everything about it, playing it, practicing it, studying it, watching it, talking about it and thinking about it. Football gave me everything I could ever want and more. It taught me about hard work, dedication, teamwork, it took me to college and the NFL, it made me money and gave me a life that most people could only dream about. I’m here today to make sure the world loves how much I love the game of football,” Shazier said.
Shazier has not played since he suffered a spinal injury in a December 2017 game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Shazier remained a member of the Steelers organization as he went through rehab and continued to recover from the injury. He was often seen on the sidelines during games, and with the team during meetings.
Shazier hasn’t been with the Steelers during training camp this year. Head coach Mike Tomlin said last week that he hopes Shazier does return to the Steelers staff down the road but understands the linebacker is focusing on other areas of life.
Shazier thanked the city of Pittsburgh and everyone who has supported him throughout his journey. He said he’s now ready for the road ahead, without football.
“Football may have been taken away from me, but everything it gave me is still here inside,” Shazier said. “I am incredibly grateful for that and I am truly excited now to discover what’s next.