Ryan Shazier #50 of the Pittsburgh Steelers reacts after he intercepted a pass thrown by Matt Moore #8 of the Miami Dolphins in the third quarter during the Wild Card Playoff game against the Miami Dolphins at Heinz Field on January 8, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

After suffering a scary spinal injury on Dec. 5 in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ win over the Cincinnati Bengals, linebacker Ryan Shazier is officially done for the season.

The Steelers announced Tuesday that Shazier had been placed on injured reserve, meaning he cannot play again until the 2018 NFL season. Steelers president Art Rooney II said in the team’s announcement that Shazier will continue to play an important role in the Steelers’ quest for their NFL-record seventh Super Bowl championship.

“Unfortunately Ryan will not be able to contribute on the field during the remainder of this season,” Rooney said. “However, even off the field Ryan will continue to be one of our team leaders. We know his spirit and positive outlook will help him to continue in his recovery, as well as serve as an inspiration to our team.”

Shazier suffered the injury when a routine tackle against Josh Malone went wrong. The fourth-year inside linebacker’s head collided with Malone’s leg, which led to Shazier lying motionless on the field for several minutes before being carted off on a backboard. He was immediately taken to a Cincinnati hospital before being flown back to Pittsburgh.

It remains unclear if Shazier will play again. Defensive coordinator Keith Butler said the team is more concerned about his personal health than his future with the Steelers. Drafted in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, the former Ohio State star led a young, rejuvenated Steelers defense this year with 89 tackles, three interceptions and two forced fumbles. He was voted to his first Pro Bowl last season.

During Sunday night’s wild 39-38 win over the Baltimore Ravens that clinched the AFC North division for the Steelers, several players paid tribute to Shazier.

The Steelers host the New England Patriots on Sunday at Heinz Field, in a matchup that could determine who gets home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.