Shazier takes in practice for first time

From Mirror, wire reports

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Bowl linebacker Ryan Shazier has attended practice for the first time since injuring his spine against Cincinnati last month.

Shazier posted a photo on Instagram on Wednesday afternoon from the team’s indoor training facility as Pittsburgh prepared to host Jacksonville in the divisional round of the playoffs. Shazier, who underwent spine stabilization surgery on Dec. 6, is pictured in a wheelchair wearing sweatpants and a Steelers jacket.

“I want to thank the Lord for the first downs that he has been allowing me to achieve. The touchdown is going to come in his timing, but today was a first down. I was finally able to make it to practice with my teammates,” Shazier wrote on Instagram.

The extent of Shazier’s injury has not been released. He called his visit to the facility a positive step in his recovery. Shazier says he has been “making strides” over the past month but added he is “far from done.” The 25-year-old says he is “working harder than ever” to get back.

“It’s great to be back for practices and meetings. Just to be able to feel a part of it means the world. So I’m working harder than I ever have to get back. I’ve been making strides over the past month and continue to make progress. Taking it day-by-day, but I’m far from done. The Lord has not finished his work yet.”

The Steelers host the Jaguars on Sunday and the winner will advance to the AFC title game.

Wounded Jaguars

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville Jaguars backup linebacker Blair Brown sprained his left ankle during practice Wednesday, a potentially big loss considering starters Telvin Smith and Paul Posluszny already were dealing with injuries.

Brown was wearing a walking boot and using crutches to get around the locker room, saying he “landed on it wrong” during a drill.

Coach Doug Marrone praised Brown earlier in the day, saying he played well in a wild-card victory against Buffalo last week. Brown filled in for Posluszny, who left the game with an abdomen injury.

Posluszny and Smith (ankle) did not practice Wednesday.

Backup linebacker Donald Payne (quadriceps) also was on the injury report, leaving starter Myles Jack and backup Lerentee McCray as the team’s only fully healthy linebackers.

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