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Ryan Shazier makes surprise appearance at Steelers vs. Patriots game 2 weeks after serious spine injury

What a great scene in Pittsburgh.

Ryan Shazier suffered the most horrifying injury of the NFL season against the Bengals in Week 13 after making a routine tackle. He was forced to have spinal stabilization surgery, and has been recovering since.

On Sunday afternoon, he was in a suite for the Steelers’ game against the Patriots, his first public appearance since the injury. The reception was incredible:

He was appropriately waving a terrible towel rooting for his team:

Shazier was placed on injured reserve this past Tuesday, and will miss the rest of the season.

“Unfortunately Ryan will not be able to contribute on the field during the remainder of this season,” Steelers President Art Rooney II said earlier in the week. “However, even off the field Ryan will continue to be one of our team leaders. We know his spirit and positive outlook will help him to continue in his recovery, as well as serve as an inspiration to our team.”

Shazier’s surgery is going to require months of recovery, and it’s not known if he will play football again. It also doesn’t seem like that’s a priority for the Steelers either, as Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler said on Dec. 7 via the Post-Gazette.

“I’m not worried about him playing for us again,” Butler said. “I’m more worried about him. Y’all have been updated as much as we have. The thing that we’re hopeful for and prayerful for is that he comes back and he’ll be OK. The football stuff is secondary. His life is a lot more important to me than football.”

Though Shazier isn’t on the field with the team, it’s great to see him back in Heinz Field cheering on the Steelers.