Steelers GM says Ryan Shazier won't play in 2018

The spinal injury Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier suffered in December will keep him out for the 2018 season, Pittsburgh general manager Kevin Colbert told reporters Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Shazier suffered a spinal injury on a hit against the Cincinnati Bengals on Dec. 4. He underwent a surgical procedure after the hit and has been rehabbing the injury.

The announcement comes a week after Shazier expressed his desire to return and be an All-Pro for the Steelers.

"I've gotta get back, bro," Shazier said on teammate Roosevelt Nix's podcast. "Every day, bro. Every day I'm like -- right now, I'm reading a book and it's basically saying trust the process, bro. I'm really trusting the process and I know the end goal. I'm taking it every step of the way but I'm like, I'm giving it like my football effort, like 1,000, everything I've got"

Earlier this month, Steelers owner Art Rooney II said he believed Shazier would have a role on the team. It remains to be seen what that role might be moving forward.

The fourth-year pro suffered a scary, season-ending spinal injury in December during Pittsburgh's Week 13 win over the Bengals. The 25-year-old Pro Bowler underwent spinal stabilization surgery, which is expected to require months of rehab. He was released from a rehab facility on Feb. 1.

Shazier's father, Vernon Shazier, shared in January that his son had regained feeling in his legs, but declined to comment on whether Ryan was walking again. On Sunday, Shazier confirmed a report by NBC Sports sideline reporter Michele Tafoya that stated he still needs to use a walker or be assisted by others as part of his rehab walking program.

He spent time at the team facility in January, observing practice, sitting in for meetings and watching his teammates finish a campaign that ended with Pittsburgh's loss to the Jaguars in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs.