The Pittsburgh Steelers dedicated last night's thrilling 39-38 division-clinching victory over the Baltimore Ravens, to injured linebacker Ryan Shazier. After the game, the team presented Shazier with the game ball as he facetimed them from his hospital bed.
Shazier remains in a University of Pittsburgh Medical Center hospital after undergoing spinal stabilization surgery last week. He was carted off the field following a collision during the first quarter of Pittsburgh's win over the Bengals last Monday night.
According to ESPN's Josina Anderson, Shazier had texted that he was "feeling a lot better" on Sunday morning, and he was probably feeling much better after his teammates went out and secured the AFC North crown against their division rivals.
Many Steelers players and coaches wore black T-shirts featuring Shazier's number 50 with a yellow circle around it. As a nod to Shazier's famous pregame routine of working out on the field without his shirt on, veteran linebacker James Harrison stretched on the field with his shirt off.
After the game, several Steelers players spoke about how much Shazier is in their thoughts moving forward.
"We love our brother, and we wanted to get this win for him, and I'm glad we did," said Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
"You give that guy the game ball because we know his heart is in it," Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward said. "And he deserves it."
The Steelers, 11-2, will host the AFC East-leading New England Patriots next Sunday in a game that will likely determine home field advantage throughout the AFC Playoffs.