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Steelers place LB Ryan Shazier on injured reserve

The Pittsburgh Steelers placed Ryan Shazier on injured reserve Tuesday. The linebacker underwent spinal stabilization surgery on Dec. 6.

"Unfortunately Ryan will not be able to contribute on the field during the remainder of this season," Steelers president Art Rooney II said in a statement. "However, even off the field Ryan will continue to be one of our team leaders. We know his spirit and positive outlook will help him to continue in his recovery, as well as serve as an inspiration to our team."

Shazier suffered the spinal injury after his head collided with Cincinnati Bengals receiver Josh Malone's thigh during a tackle in the Steelers' 23-20 win on Dec. 4. The linebacker was placed on a backboard and carted off the field before being transported to a Cincinnati area hospital. He was later flown to Pittsburgh to undergo surgery.

The Steelers Facetimed with Shazier after their AFC North-clinching victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night.

"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.

Shazier's future in the NFL is secondary at the moment as he recovers from the scary injury.

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