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Steelers LB Shazier hospitalized with back injury

CINCINNATI -- Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier was carted off the field during the first quarter of Pittsburgh's Monday night game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

The team announced that Shazier had been taken to the hospital for further evaluation on his back.

Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin said postgame, "We'll release an update at the appropriate time. Right now we're just happy he's getting the necessary medical attention that he deserves."

Tomlin and Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert subsequently left the stadium to visit Shazier in the hospital, according to ESPN.

According to NFL.com's Aditi Kinkhabwala, Shazier had a spinal contusion that involved swelling. She reported that former Steelers quarterback Tommy Maddox dealt with a similar injury but made a complete recovery after the swelling subsided.

Shazier, the Steelers' leading tackler through 11 games, was injured while making a tackle Bengals wide receiver Josh Malone with 11:14 remaining in the first quarter.

The fourth-year linebacker remained mostly motionless while he was attended to by trainers, but he did lift his own head at one point.

Shazier led the Steelers in tackles in seven of the team's first 11 games.

Pittsburgh wound up beating Cincinnati 23-20 on a last-second field goal.