As Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier begins recovery from a spinal injury suffered in Cincinnati on Monday night, the former Ohio State University football star is in the thoughts and prayers of players at his alma mater.
Most of the current Buckeyes who met with reporters Friday night had a similar reaction when asked about Shazier, who had spinal stabilization surgery Thursday.
“It’s scary, but that’s the game of football that we play,” OSU receiver Parris Campbell said. “You never know what’s going to happen. Injuries are prone to happen at some time, but that’s just something you’ve got to pray about. It’s scary to watch but you can’t prevent something like that from happening.”
Fellow receiver Terry McLaurin added:
“It doesn’t make me not want to play. You’ve got to be conscientious as best as you can. But that can happen to anybody. Everybody knows what they’re signing up for.”
Offensive lineman Jamarco Jones expressed similar sentiments.
“I mean, yeah, like I said it’s a part of the game,” Jones said. "I wouldn’t really say it scares me too much. I’ve been playing football all my life. I’ve seen some pretty bad injuries in football.
“It sucks but I think it’s harder more for the parents and the family than us. I think football players understand the risks we’re taking. It’s more other people outside the locker room who may not necessarily understand why we do this,” Jones said.
“I don’t think too many football players would say watching an injury would deter them really because we know what we’re getting into.”
Ohio State returned to practice Friday to begin preparations for playing USC in the Cotton Bowl on Dec. 29.