You gotta Shalieve! Ryan Shazier stunned the 2018 NFL Draft Day attendees when he was able to walk out onstage and announce the Steelers pick after nearly being paralyzed in 2017.
OMG!!! This is the moment NFL fans had been hoping to see ever since Ryan Shazier suffered a near-paralyzing on-field back injury that left him in a wheelchair. The 25-year-old linebacker shocked the audience gathered for 2018 NFL Draft Day by walking onstage on his own volition, without the use of a cane or walker to announce his Pittsburgh Steelers’ first round pick. He said nothing about his injury, simply stating that the Steelers were using their pick to select Virginia Tech Safety Terrell Edmunds. The crowd was on their feet with a standing ovation for him, as he’s overcome such odds just to walk again! It was without a doubt the best moment of the draft’s day one, as everyone in the league is so inspired by Ryan’s progress, commitment, and his always positive outlook. In announcing him, NFL Commissioner Rodger Goodell said, “We are so proud of him, and he inspires us all.” Ryan was accompanied by his fiancee Michelle Rodriguez, who held his hand as he moved gingerly towards the podium.
Things were looking pretty bleak for the two time Pro-Bowler when in a Monday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Dec. 7, 2017, he went in for a tackle and had a bad landing. He ended up in immense pain and unable to move the lower half of his body. NFL fans everywhere sent their hopes and prayers that he would just be able to walk again, let alone play football. He was diagnosed with a spinal contusion and underwent surgery, ending his 2017 season.
Ryan has made remarkable progress in his recovery, rehabbing like crazy and totally committed to returning to play for the Steelers once again. He has used the saying “Shalieve” — a combo of his last name and “believe” — as his motto throughout his journey back. While he won’t play in 2018 as he’s still recovering, Ryan is still a beloved member of the Steelers organization and it showed as they used him to name the newest addition to the team.
Ryan Shazier walks to the podium and announces the Steelers' 1st Round pick.pic.twitter.com/5fbeVQTARj
— ESPN (@espn) April 27, 2018
Fans everywhere reacted to the good news of seeing Ryan walking again and he became a top trending Twitter topic. One person wrote, “I’m a Browns fan and this was the best part of the draft for me to see him walk out on stage and make that pick.” Another said, “Not going to lie I still have the tears and sniffles. Even as a Packer fan I am so happy to have seen that moment. #Shalieve” One person said they were “chilled to tears” by witnessing Ryan walking again. Folks may have their own favorite team, but when it comes to the NFL, everyone is a fan of Ryan and his inspiring courage.