Details of Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier's condition have been kept mostly under wraps since he suffered a spinal injury on the football field. It remains a delicate situation as he continues his rehabilitation.
His teammates recently shared with Greg Bishop of Sports Illustrated their reactions to watching a beloved member of the defense sustain such an injury.
Shazier was injured while making a tackle on a 3-yard catch just minutes into a Monday night game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 13.
Safety Mike Mitchell didn't dress for the game due to an ankle injury, but he ran onto the field to attend to Shazier, his closest friend on the team.
"I can't feel my legs," Shazier said to him, with tears running down his face.
"I don't think (linebacker) Vince (Williams) stopped crying until after halftime, and that's one of the most gangster dudes on the team," Mitchell said.
Williams was near the play when it happened.
"The lick was loud. I heard it, like, BOW!" he recounted.
But the mood quickly changed when he noticed the expression on Shazier's face.
"That f----- me up," Williams said. "I'm watching the trainers pinch him. They're not really telling him they're pinching him, and they're just pinching the s--- out of him."
Shazier's father recently said his son is regaining feeling in his legs. This comes after he underwent spinal stabilization surgery days after the injury.
His teammates vowed to win the Super Bowl for him. The Steelers will begin their playoff run by hosting the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.