Shazier not letting injuries get to him

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Ryan Shazier hasn't played nearly as much football as he intended to during his first two seasons with the Steelers, but the second-year linebacker has learned how to better handle the adversity that accompanies injury and unavailability.

"It's been a bumpy couple of years but I'm just going to let the past be the past," the 2014 first-round pick acknowledged. "I'm going to continue to rehab and do whatever I can to make sure my body's right but I'm not going to press on those issues any more.

The Steelers prepare for the week 13 matchup against the Indianapolis Colts.

"You can't control when you get hurt."

Shazier has learned as much the hard way.

He started from Day One last season but suffered a knee injury on Sept. 21 at Carolina.

Shazier returned after a four-game absence but sustained an ankle injury in his second game back on Nov. 2 against Baltimore and missed the next three games.

It's been more of the same this season. A right shoulder injury on Sept. 20 against San Francisco sidelined Shazier for the next four games and a concussion last Sunday at Seattle prevented him from playing all but two defensive series against the Seahawks.

The Seattle game was the 16th appearance of Shazier's career.

"He doesn't not want to play," defensive coordinator Keith Butler said. "This kid wants to play. You feel bad for the things that happened to him.

"Hopefully we can get him on the field and keep him on the field."

Shazier was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday but handled a full work load on Thursday and again today and has been listed as probable for Sunday night's game against Indianapolis.

Whatever the designation, he's learned to role with the punches.

"The more you think about trying to stay healthy or trying to get away from injuries is when it tends to happen," Shazier said. "I'm going to stop worrying about it and go out there and play like I normally play.

"I've been doing everything I can to help the team out. I'm just going to continue to do what I can. I'm not really worried about it that much any more. I'm going to continue to watch film, continue to practice, continue to give it everything I have.

"That's all I can do."

STATUS REPORT
OUT - LB Sean Spence (hamstring)
QUESTIONABLE - TE Heath Miller (rib)
PROBABLE -QB Ben Roethlisberger (concussion), Shazier, WR Martavis Bryant (hip), LB James Harrison (knee), FS Mike Mitchell (knee), TE Matt Spaeth (knee), SS Will Allen (ankle)

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