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Tomlin: 'We had Ryan Shazier on Facetime' after win

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  • By Edward Lewis NFL.com
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Ryan Shazier couldn't be out with his Steelers teammates Sunday night against the Baltimore Ravens, but they made sure his presence was felt regardless.

Pittsburgh players made several efforts to honor their injured teammate, who's recovering from spinal stabilization surgery earlier this week.

After the Steelers secured their second consecutive AFC North crown with their 39-38 win over the Ravens, the team celebrated with Shazier.

"A very emotional group in there. AFC North champs. We had Ryan Shazier on Facetime. He had an opportunity to share that moment with the team. That's a special thing," coach Mike Tomlin said in a press conference after the game.

"We knew in spirit, he was all there with us. And for us to get it done and the way we got it done today and being able to Facetime him, to see the joy from him. It's special," said wide receiver Antonio Brown after the game. "We don't take it for granted. He's our brother. I know he wasn't out there with us, but he was there in spirit. And I know he was our biggest supporter, watching us fight together today."

Prior to the game James Harrison had perhaps the most fitting tribute to the injured linebacker, who, even in the coldest weather, warms up for games without a shirt on. Harrison worked out in the near-freezing temperatures in nothing but sweats, a beanie and gloves, just like Shazier would have.

Several Steelers teammates brought out Shazier's jersey prior to the game, and others honored him with images of the middle linebacker on their cleats alongside his number and the hashtag #Shalieve.

Once the game started, Steelers fullback Roosevelt Nix made a big tackle on the kickoff team and pulled up his jersey to reveal a black shirt with Shazier's No. 50 on it.

And after the Steelers rallied for a dramatic one-point win the Pittsburgh LB group showed Shazier some love in the locker room.

AFC North Champs

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NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday that Shazier's season is over and he'll need months of recovery before he considers a return to football. But, for at least one night, the Steelers made it clear he was with them even if he couldn't be on Heinz Field playing against their division rival.

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