Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier will not return until 2019 at the earliest.
Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert on Wednesday revealed Shazier will not play in 2018 but there will be some sort of designation for him so he can still remain a part of the team.
Shazier is still recovering from a serious spinal injury suffered against the Cincinnati Bengals in December that required spinal stabilisation surgery.
He was released from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Rehabilitation Institute earlier this month.
"Ryan Shazier won't play in 2018. He knows that. We know that," Colbert told reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Shazier will enter the fifth year of his initial contract next season. After earning $9.56 million over his first four NFL seasons, the two-time Pro Bowler will count $8.7million against the Steelers' salary cap after the team exercised his fifth-year option last year.