Steelers' GM says Ryan Shazier will not play in 2018

Ryan Shazier said recently he plans on returning to the football field and play at a level that gets him into the Hall of Fame, but his comeback won’t begin this year.

Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert told media at the NFL Scouting Combine on Wednesday that Shazier will not play in 2018, but that he will have a role with the team.

He knows that and we know that,” Colbert said.

Shazier suffered a neck injury in the first half of the Steelers’ Monday night game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Dec. 4 that left him temporarily paralyzed.

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Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier suffers brutal hit
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Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier suffers brutal hit
CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 04: Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Ryan Shazier (50) (bottom) injures his back during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals on December 4th, 2017 at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, OH. (Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Dec 4, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Josh Malone (80) is brought down by Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Vince Williams (98) during the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 04: Ryan Shazier #50 of the Pittsburgh Steelers reacts as he is carted off the field after a injury against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first half at Paul Brown Stadium on December 4, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 04: Ryan Shazier #50 of the Pittsburgh Steelers reacts as he is carted off the field after a injury against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first half at Paul Brown Stadium on December 4, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 04: Ryan Shazier #50 of the Pittsburgh Steelers reacts as he is carted off the field after a injury against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first half at Paul Brown Stadium on December 4, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
Dec 4, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Ryan Shazier (50) is carted off the field during a stop in play against the Cincinnati Bengals in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
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Three days later, he underwent spinal stabilization surgery; he spent nearly two months in the hospital before being discharged to an outpatient therapy program.

A few days after he was released, Shazier received a rousing ovation at a Pittsburgh Penguins game when he stood up, with some help, to acknowledge the crowd.

Last week, Shazier, who is 25-years-old, was a guest on teammate Roosevelt Nix’s podcast, which marked his first interview since his injury.

Watch on Yahoo: Live stream the 2018 NFL scouting combine on Yahoo Sports’ website, app

“I got to get back,” Shazier told Nix. “Right now I’m reading a book and it’s basically saying trust the process. I’m really trusting the process. I know the end goal. So I’m taking every step of the way, I’m giving everything I got. The therapists are like, ‘Man this is crazy; I’ve never seen anyone work this hard.’ The almost see progression every day.

“They say like some progressions they see week to week, they see from me day to day. I’m really trying to come back and still be a Pro Bowler.”

And Shazier, the 15th pick in the 2014 draft and a two-time Pro Bowler, affirmed to Nix that his childhood goal, of being voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, is still his goal: “I’m still reaching for that Hall of Fame because I really feel I’m the best linebacker ever. I just got to be back out there so everybody can see it. You know what I’m saying?”

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