One of the most brutal games in recent memory ended much the same way games usually do between the Steelers and Bengals, with a Pittsburgh victory. The Steelers managed to earn a 23-20 win in Cincinnati Monday night after several key players for both teams left with injuries.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) December 5, 2017
When Ryan Shazier went down early in the first quarter, the game seemed meaningless. Shazier led with his helmet while trying to make a tackle before dropping to the ground and laying motionless. He was carted off the field following several terrifying moments without much movement to his legs.
ICYMI: Here's the play where Ryan Shazier sustained his obvious back injury. Have to take the hand/arm movement as a positive sign and hope for the best. pic.twitter.com/CA74z6oTW1
— Dion Caputi (@nfldraftupdate) December 5, 2017
The Steelers released a statement with an update on Shazier’s condition.
— Burt Lauten (@SteelersPRBurt) December 5, 2017
Prayers from around the league immediately started flooding in for Shazier.
You’re covered in prayer my man, @RyanShazier … scary part of this game.
— Carson Wentz (@cj_wentz) December 5, 2017
Our thoughts and prayers are with @Steelers LB Ryan Shazier.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) December 5, 2017
Sending good vibes brother. Prayers for Ryan Shazier.
— Julian Edelman (@Edelman11) December 5, 2017
Despite the Shazier incident, the game had to go on. Pittsburgh rallied from a 20-3 deficit, to score 20 second half points in the comeback win. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 290 yards, 2 touchdowns with 1 pick on the night. Le’Veon Bell had only 76 yards on the ground but served as the Steelers leading receiver with 5 receptions for 106 yards and a score, a touchdown that left many confused when Bengals defenders let Bell walk into the end zone untouched.
— NFL (@NFL) December 5, 2017
Antonio Brown also surpassed 100 yards with 8 catches for 101 yards and a touchdown of his own.
Another black eye moment in the game came when Steelers rookie sensation JuJu Smith-Schuster laid out Vontaze Burfict and then stood over him.
JuJu with the crazy hit on Burfict 😳pic.twitter.com/2DntJwHQgA
— NFL Stats (@NFL_Stats) December 5, 2017
Burfict, who is often known for dirty actions of his own, had to be attended to by medical personnel. JuJu realizing he may have taken things too far apologized with a tweet after the game.
I don’t have any intentions to hurt anyone when I play football. I didn’t mean to hurt Vontez Burfict, I just wanted to throw a block for my teammate. I apologize for standing over him and that isn’t me. Praying he gets better.
— JuJu Smith-Schuster (@TeamJuJu) December 5, 2017
Up next for the Steelers is another prime time game with a fierce division rival. The Baltimore Ravens come to Pittsburgh for Sunday Night Football.