Ryan Shazier isn’t coming back this year, so Steelers are trusting Vince Williams with more responsibility

  • Stephen Knox
  • All 22
4:52 p.m Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017 Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Ryan Shazier’s terrible injury has forced an additional responsibility on inside linebacker Vince Williams.

Shazier underwent spinal stabilization surgery on Wednesday. He is out for the rest of this season, and his future in the NFL is in question, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Perhaps the least important impact of Shazier’s injury is that someone else has to make the play calls on defense. However, someone has to take over those duties. and that player will be Williams However, defensive end Cameron Heyward said that he has done it before, according to Penn Live’s Jacob Klinger.

Williams entered the 2017 season with a big responsibility. He had to replace longtime starting  linebacker Lawrence Timmons, who signed with the Miami Dolphins during the offseason. During the previous three seasons, Williams started in a total of six games.

Through 12 games this season Williams has the second-most sacks on the Steelers with 7, trailing Heyward who has 9. He is rated as the 44th best linebacker in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus.

For the Steelers to remain in the hunt for a Super Bowl, they are going to have to rely on Williams to be a playmaker on defense. He can’t be Shazier, but he can be a player whom opposing offenses have to account for.

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