Steelers toll Ryan Shazier's contract into 2019 season

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  • By Grant Gordon NFL.com
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In his inspiring and emotional journey back to recovery and hopefully once more the football field, Ryan Shazier's next chapter will continue to be penned as a Pittsburgh Steeler.

Another step forward was taken Tuesday as the Steelers announced Shazier's contract will be tolled into the 2019 season with the linebacker remaining on the roster and eventually being placed upon the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform List.

Shazier continues to make positive strides after sustaining a horrendous spinal injury in 2017.

"We will continue to support Ryan's efforts to return to play," Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert told the team's website. "Although he won't be able to help us on the field in 2019, his leadership, insight and emotional support have always been very valuable to us, and we look forward to his contributions in our pursuit of a championship."

By tolling Shazier, the Steelers will pay him for the season, enable him to receive his regular medical insurance and count the season toward his players' pension.

It's also another uplifting note for the Steelers, as Shazier's heartwarming story, along with emerging running back James Conner, a cancer survivor, often had their positive narratives overshadowed by the drama of the topsy-turvy 2018 Steelers' travails concerning Antonio Brown, Le'Veon Bell and Ben Roethlisberger.

Shazier sustained a spinal contusion after a head-on tackle on Dec. 4, 2017 against the Cincinnati Bengals. Three days later, he underwent spinal stabilization surgery.

He reemerged in dramatic fashion during the 2018 NFL Draft to announce the Steelers' first-round choice. Thereafter, he would make a soul-stirring walk into Paul Brown Stadium, where his injury occurred.

Tuesday signals another step in a positive direction in Shazier's uplifting story.

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