Steelers LB Shazier doing well after suffering serious injury

Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Ryan Shazier lies on the field after an apparent injury in the first half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Monday, Dec. 4, 2017, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Frank Victores)

CINCINNATI (AP/WKRC) - Pittsburgh Steeler linebacker Ryan Shazier stayed overnight in a Cincinnati hospital with a back injury while the rest of the Steelers headed home with yet another improbable comeback in hand, one that was so much like all the rest at Paul Brown Stadium.

For now, the Steelers biggest concern is Shazier, an Ohio State University product who is the leading tackler on one of the NFL's top defenses. He hurt his back while making a tackle in the first quarter and was taken off the field on a cart. He got tests at University of Cincinnati Medical Center that indicated no surgery was needed "at this time," the team said in a statement early Tuesday morning after the game.

Coach Mike Tomlin visited him after the game. The Steelers were hopeful that Shazier would return to Pittsburgh on Tuesday.

"Right now, we're just happy that he's getting the necessary medical attention that he deserves," Tomlin said.

It was the most frightening injury in a game full of vicious and illegal hits. Thousands of dollars will be handed out in fines by the league later in the week.

The Steelers will have a challenging time replacing Shazier. Pittsburgh has given up a lot of big plays lately, but overcome it by getting sacks and turnovers, with Shazier leading the charge.

"When we need a big play, he's one of the guys we look to," linebacker Vince Williams said. "It's going to be tough."

Several players said it was tough watching Shazier get carted off the field.

"It’s tough anytime anybody goes down," said Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. :It’s scary, sad, emotions are running like crazy. It’s one of our leaders, a guy that calls defense and things like that. It’s a scary situation. Thoughts and prayers to him and his family."

Said Tomlin: "Make no mistake that this is a tough game and a tough business. He is our brother, and our thoughts and prayers go out to him. Right now, we’re just happy that he’s getting the necessary medical attention that he deserves. He’s got a lot of brothers in there that are thoughtful of him and wanted to honor him with a performance. You care about that man. You care about all the men, but that’s just a tough element of our game and one that we all understand. We had to get back on task, and we were able to do it. We made enough plays to win the game."

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