PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — As the Pittsburgh Steelers prepared to take the field for the first time since Ryan Shazier’s injury, fans, celebrities, and other athletes sent out their thoughts and prayers to the linebacker.
Actor and Pittsburgh native Joe Manganiello posted a short video on his social media accounts Sunday afternoon, saying he was “sending out a rallying cry to send out a 5-0 and hashtag SHALIEVE tonight to send some love and prayers to the best linebacker in the game. Ryan, we love you.”
— Joe Manganiello (@JoeManganiello) December 10, 2017
Actor and Pittsburgh native Billy Gardell was in attendance at the game Sunday night and told KDKA that he was sending Shazier his best.
“Ryan, I want you to know you’re an inspiration, man. Everybody in the city loves you. Every Steeler fan is praying for you and for your family. I hope you’re up and at ’em very soon. May God bless you and heal you as quick as possible, my man. We love you,” he said.
Shazier was on every fan’s mind, with No. 50 jerseys at every turn. Homemade signs scattered throughout Heinz Field showed just how much fans miss Shazier, feel for him and hope for the best.
The players themselves found special ways to pay tribute to Shazier.
James Harrison warmed up shirtless, just like Shazier often does.
The team wore cleats bearing his name and likeness. They came in all different colors and sizes, but they all sent the same message: Shazier, we’re pulling for you.
The well-wishes extended far beyond Heinz Field.
Electronic Lamar billboards in the Pittsburgh area had a simple message on them: “Pray For #50.”
— Vernon J. Shazier (@VernonShazier) December 10, 2017
Cleveland Browns running back Duke Johnson appeared to say a prayer and threw up a 5-0 after scoring a touchdown during the Browns’ afternoon game.
— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) December 10, 2017
Shazier underwent spine stabilization surgery Wednesday night after he was seriously injured during last Monday’s game. The Steelers have not released an official update on his condition since then.