Former Steelers LB Ryan Shazier, who suffered a career-ending spinal injury in Cincinnati, knows first-hand what Tua Tagovailoa went through.
When Tua Tagovailoa suffered a serious-looking “head and neck” injury against the Bengals on Thursday Night Football, Ryan Shazier had a unique perspective.
After all, the former Steelers linebacker suffered his own devastating injury in Cincinnati in 2017. He too had to be stretchered off the field, straight into an ambulance heading for the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. He also had to put his life and body in their hands.
So he had first hand experience with the situation Tagovailoa found himself in and he shared that on social media
“[Prayers] for tua. May god be with you and hopefully okay. The staff in UC hospital do a great job with care. Your in great hands,” Shazier tweeted.
Ryan Shazier on Tua Tagovailoa injury: You’re “in good hands”
Shazier’s spinal injury ended his career. We don’t yet know the full extent of Tagovailoa’s injury, but the early news is very positive. The Dolphins quarterback is expected to be released from the hospital tonight. He should be able to travel home with the team.
Tagovailoa hit his head after a hit in the second quarter against the Bengals. He immediately showed signs of neurological distress, which was particularly concerning because he hit his head hard on Sunday against the Bills as well. The medical staff had to take him off immobilized on a stretcher.
While awaiting news of Tagovailoa’s status, many in the NFL world wondered if the Dolphins had put him in unnecessary danger by allowing him to play after Sunday’s hit. He stumbled around on the field in the direct aftermath but the team claimed he had a back injury, not a concussion.
Shazier, who was a two-time Pro Bowler, had to undergo spinal surgery and he had to learn how to walk again. He officially retired in 2020.