Steelers GM: Ryan Shazier will not play in 2018, focus on finding replacement

PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ryan Shazier will not play in 2018 after he suffered a spinal injury in December, Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert said Wednesday.

“Ryan Shazier won’t play in 2018. He knows that and we know that. We're gonna continue to support him in his recovery. So we know that going into this season, he won't play and he'll end up on a different type of list,” Colbert said at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

Shazier suffered the injury while making a tackle against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 13. He underwent spinal stabilization surgery several days later.

Now the attention at this week’s NFL Combine moves to trying to find a replacement at inside linebacker. While the organization will be without Shazier on the field, at least they know the direction they need to go. The same can be said at quarterback too.

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"Last year, he (Ben Roethlisberger) made mention of maybe it's a year-to-year thing,” Colbert said. “Fortunately for us, as we lost that game (to Jacksonville), as disappointed as we were, he came out that night and said he wants to play. That gave me a great lift because I know the most important position on our team will hopefully be secure for a few more years.”

Colbert knows this team’s window for another Super Bowl is short and hopes to maximize their efforts with Roethlisberger under center.

When it comes to Le’Veon Bell, Colbert said the organization “remains optimistic” about signing the running back to a long-term deal before the March 6th deadline to place the franchise tender on players.

EXCLUSIVE: I go 1-on-1 with Pittsburgh Steelers GM Kevin Colbert at 5&6pm on WPXI-TV Pittsburgh to discuss Ryan Shazier, Le’Veon Bell & who he will pick at #28 in the NFL Draft. http://on.wpxi.com/2oxtl8h

Posted by WPXI Chase Williams on Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Colbert also mentioned Wednesday that the team is not trying to trade Martavis Bryant despite reports in recent days.

The GM applauds Bryant’s ability to return to the field after a one-year suspension.

Now that the media responsibilities are complete, the Steelers scouts, spearheaded by Colbert, are set to evaluate the hundreds of athletes who will display their abilities at the combine.