NFL suspends JuJu Smith-Schuster, George Iloka one game each for hits

JuJu Smith Schuster Annihilated Vontaze Burfict On A Crackback Block

Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and Bengals safety George Iloka have been suspended one game for unsafe blows to the head in Monday night's game, the National Football League announced Tuesday. On Monday, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was suspended one game for a late hit on the Buffalo Bills' Tre'Davious White.

Runyan also took issue as Smith-Schuster "celebrated" the hit, writing "your conduct following the hit fell far below the high standards of sportsmanship expected of an National Football League player". He was evaluated for a head injury. He was also penalized for standing over the linebacker and taunting him. Following the block, Smith-Schuster stood over Burfict, who left the game on a cart and was immediately ruled out with a concussion. Then, he proved his ill intentions by taunting him afterward. "All I saw was the first Bengal was going to tackle ... and my instinct is I gotta block for my teammate", said Smith-Schuster, according to Katherine Terrell of ESPN.

"Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin wasn't happy with the rookie's actions either, as he said: "[Smith-Schuster] shouldn't have stood over him ... There's a thin line between a legal and illegal hit, but Smith-Schuster straddled it just enough to be get a suspension. You got to acknowledge it and he's got to work hard so that people understand who he is from a sportsmanship standpoint. Love you 50, Get better soon!


"I'll acknowledge that there were some unfortunate situations in that game that we don't need in our game", Tomlin said.

There was certainly some retribution for the hit later in the game when Iloka delivered a wholly unnecessary helmet-to-helmet hit on Steelers wideout Antonio Brown as the receiver reeled in a touchdown from Ben Roethlisbeger. "But my job as a head coach as Pittsburgh Steelers is to minimize those things that we're involved in before they occur, and we do". I think the game is safer than it's been.

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