Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier was carted off the field in the first quarter of Monday Night Football, this after making a tackle on Bengals wide receiver Josh Malone. Shazier, who suffered a back injury, was able to move his arms and hands, but there was minimal movement in his lower body, as millions across America feared the worst for the former first-round pick out of Ohio State.
“You just say a prayer and you pray he’s okay,” Steelers cornerback Coty Sensabaugh said on Ferrall on the Bench. “You don’t want to see nobody get carted off. That’s tough to watch a brother go out like that.”
The Steelers were shellshocked for much of the first half. They fell behind 17-0 late in the second quarter before storming back for a 23-20 win. Still, there were rough hits throughout, and several players, including Vontaze Burfict and Joe Mixon, had to leave the game.
“It was a tough game,” Sensabaugh said. “A lot of hard hits going back and forth. We’re just thankful for the win.”
After JuJu Smith-Schuster laid an illegal block on Burfict – and stood over him defiantly – Bengals safety Georga Iloka unloaded on Antonio Brown after he hauled in the game-tying touchdown pass. Many players would have been concussed after a hit like that. Brown apparently wasn’t.
Both players – Smith-Schuster and Iloka – were penalized. Pittsburgh and Cincinnati combined for 20 penalties for 239 yards.
“It’s just a division rival and then the history that goes along with it,” Sensabaugh said. “We’re just happy to come out with a victory, though.”
The Steelers (10-2) have won seven straight games and are currently the No. 1 seed in the AFC. They host New England (10-2), which has won eight straight games, on Dec. 17 in a game that will likely decide home-field advantage in the playoffs.
Up first, though, is a home game against Baltimore (7-5) on Sunday Night Football.
“Our goal is winning week in and week out,” Sensabaugh said. “Our next game is against Baltimore, and that’s who we’re looking forward to.”
Kickoff is at 8:30 p.m. ET.