Cameron Heyward, Vince Williams, others visited Ryan Shazier in the hospital
Pittsburgh Steelers vs.Baltimore Ravens in week 14 action at Heinz Field.
Gallery: Pittsburgh Steelers vs.Baltimore Ravens in week 14 action at Heinz Field.
PITTSBURGH — A day removed from spine stabilization surgery Ryan Shazier got to see teammates for the first time since being carted off the field in Cincinnati.
On Thursday, five Steelers teammates got to see him.
Vince Williams, Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Mike Mitchell and Ben Roethlisberger all visited Shazier in the hospital, Heyward said.
Reminders of Shazier were constant on Sunday at Heinz Field: In warmups, where Steelers wore custom cleats honoring him, nearly all donned t-shirts with his uniform number on them and James Harrison ran shirtless; through the game itself, where – less consequentially – Pittsburgh could not replace the plays Shazier has made and in the final moments of the evening.
Williams waved a Shazier jersey at the Heinz Field crowd cheering what would become the last play of the contest before Shazier FaceTimed into the team’s AFC North-winning celebrations after the Steelers’ 39-38 win versus the Baltimore Ravens.
“It’s been a long week,” Heyward said.
The visit, Heyward said, came with mixed emotions. Steelers wanted to see him, not like that, but didn’t want to let him feel forgotten, either. He had only transferred to Pittsburgh from University of Cincinnati Medical Center Wednesday, before undergoing surgery from team physicians.
“It was happy to see him. It’s still sad to see a brother down. You never want to see anybody go through that. We want to show him the love, we want to show him that we miss him, try to be there for him as much as possible,” Heyward said. “I think he was excited to see us, but it could never be easy for him.”
Roethlisberger said he saw Shazier after practice Thursday and that the visit came as a relief to the quarterback.
Shazier’s condition, according to ESPN, is gradually improving while doctors limit his movement as they wait for swelling and bruising and his back to go down.
In the middle of last week several Steelers spoke of plans to visit Shazier while also trying to give him space. Following the initial wave of visitors, Heyward said, more came to his bedside.
Said Heyward: “I know a lot of guys saw him afterward.”
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