Shazier: I'm Scared Of The Dark, But I Walked Into It

Ryan Shazier opened up about the 2017 spinal injury that changed his life forever

The DA Show
February 01, 2019 - 1:25 pm

USA Today Images


On Dec. 4, 2017, Ryan Shazier suffered a spinal injury while making a tackle against the Cincinnati Bengals. At the time, it was unknown if he would be able to walk again. In fact, he was told he only had a 20 percent chance of doing so.

Well, he’s walking.

“It feels great,” Shazier said on The DA Show. “Not too long ago, I was getting pushed around in a wheelchair and using a cane and using a walker and using a treadmill to help me walk. Now I don’t need none of that. I walk by myself. I’m out here showing everybody, hey, it doesn’t matter what you’re going through, what adversity you’re dealing with, what hard time you’re dealing with – there’s always a way to get over it.”

Shazier, 26, has poured all of his effort and energy into recovery. While there’s still a long way to go, he considers himself fortunate.

“I’m an All-American linebacker, a two-time Pro Bowler, I was a first-round draft pick,” Shazier said. “If you can’t say that’s fortunate, I don’t know what is. . . . At the end of the day, I had an unfortunate situation happen to me, but that doesn’t mean you’re not fortunate. Just because one bad thing happens to you doesn’t mean you have to look at your life like everything’s gone wrong. That’s the thing that I try to tell people all the time: you got to always stay positive, always think forward.”

DA asked Shazier if he was scared after the injury.

“There was times I was scared,” Shazier acknowledged. “At the end of the day, I felt like I would get better, but there was definitely times where I was a little bit scared. You have to just face it head on. I’m scared of the dark. I just walked into it.”

And, as it turns out, there were no ghosts or monsters waiting for him.

“Hey, man, it’s just the dark,” Shazier said. “There’s nobody in there.”