After scoring a touchdown in the first half against the Green Bay Packers, Cleveland Browns and former Miami Hurricanes running back Duke Johnson dropped to a knee and looked up to the sky. No he wasn’t protesting anything or doing the usual end zone prayer.
Johnson was praying for fallen Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier. He made that abuntantly clear with his next gesture, which was to hold up five fingers in his left hand and a zero in his right – Shazier wears No. 50.
Duke Johnson Jr. with a classy move after scoring a TD just now in Cleveland. Dropped to a knee, prayed and held up a 5-0 with his hands/fingers to the sky. #SHALIEVE #prayfor50 @DukeJohnson_8 @RyanShazier @steelers @Browns pic.twitter.com/VKKjcO3Xg9
— Gary Baumgarten Jr (@TheNotoriousGPB) December 10, 2017
The Cleveland Browns-Pittsburgh Steelers rivalry may be one of the oldest in the NFL, but that hatred didn’t stop Johnson from praying for his injured rival. Shazier sustained a spinal injury while attempting to make a tackle last Monday night against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Upon impact, the linebacker immediately fell to the ground and reached for his back. He needed a cart to be removed from the field, and there didn’t seem to be any movement in his legs. Shazier has been in the hospital since then and underwent surgery on his spinal cord Wednesday.
Reports indicated Sunday morning that Shazier was “gradually improving” and that doctors remain hopeful that he will walk again. A budding star in the NFL, the next step would be to see him return to his football career, but ensuring he returns to a normal life is the first priority.
Clearly, Johnson will be rooting for him.
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