Pittsburgh Steelers' Ryan Shazier taken to hospital with back injury
By The Associated Press
Last Updated: 05/12/17 7:42am
Ryan Shazier suffered a back injury during Pittsburgh Steelers' 23-20 win over the Bengals on Monday night and remained hospitalised in Cincinnati for evaluation.
Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert confirmed in a statement that Shazier was kept in hospital overnight with the hopes of returning to Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
Shazier lowered his shoulder and tackled receiver Josh Malone in the first quarter. He landed on his chest, reached for the middle of his back, and then rolled over. Shazier lifted his arms, flexing his right hand and calling for help, but otherwise did not appear to move much. He was removed from the field on a backboard and a cart, and then taken to a hospital for tests.
"Right now, we're just happy that he's getting the necessary medical attention that he deserves," Tomlin said.
It's a significant setback for one of the NFL's top defenses. The Pro Bowl linebacker leads the Steelers in tackles and has three interceptions.
Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict was also carted off the field in the fourth quarter after receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster levelled him with a high hit, and then walked over him. Smith-Schuster was flagged for an illegal hit and for taunting. Burfict was in concussion protocol after the game.
Burfict's hit to Antonio Brown's head during a 2015 playoff game at Paul Brown Stadium helped the Steelers rally for an 18-16 win and resulted in a three-game suspension for the Bengals linebacker. He's kept up a running feud with Pittsburgh running back Le'Veon Bell on Twitter.
"There was so much going on that I didn't even know it was Burfict at first when I hit him," Smith-Schuster said. "When I saw the replay, I realised I should have held back. That's not me. I apologise for that.
"With that being said, I hope he gets better.There were a lot of guys going down. I messed up."
While Smith-Schuster was addressing reporters on the topic, Brown could be heard proclaiming loudly from the next locker that the incident was "karma" for Burfict.
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