Pittsburgh Steelers CB Levi Wallace Dealt With Bell’s Palsy In 2022

Levi Wallace

NFL players deal with a lot of injuries during their professional careers.

Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Levi Wallace is no exception.

However, he was diagnosed with a very unusual condition known as Bell’s Palsy in October 2022.

Bell’s Palsy is a neurological disorder that comes upon a person without warning, and it can take weeks or months to fully recover from.

Some people never fully recover.

The symptoms include temporary facial paralysis limiting the person from being able to smile, blink, and raise his eyebrows, to name just a few facial expressions that are impaired by the disorder.

Wallace refused to let the Bell’s Palsy stop him and ultimately turned in his career-best season while dealing with it.

What Wallace Said

Wallace did not talk openly about it during the season but recently discussed it with Steelers.com reporter Teresa Varley.

He said:

“It was a challenge.  It just took some getting used to.  But I never wanted it to be a crutch in my performance.  So it was what it was.”

The week he was diagnosed, he was already ruled out because of a shoulder injury.

The following week was a bye week which gave Wallace a little extra time to figure out how to adjust to playing with the condition.

Another tool that helped him was a dark visor that blocked the light from hitting his left eye which he was unable to blink.

His first game back, against the New Orleans Saints, was one of his best of the season.

Wallace had five total tackles and one interception.

That is outstanding play on a regular day, but when dealing with Bell’s Palsy, that is even more spectacular.

Wallace mentioned that he was still recovering from it at the end of the season so it was an ongoing issue for him for months.

Ask anyone who has ever been diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy how they feel as they recover, and they will tell you that it is very difficult to function in everyday life.

I should know; I had it when I was 19 years old.

I was young, and it still exhausted me and grounded me in daily life.

Yet Wallace was able to play a physically grueling professional sport at a high level.

Kudos to him for doing that; it is extraordinary.

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