Both Smith-Schuster and Bengals defensive back George Iloka were suspended for a game Tuesday by the NFL in the wake of an ugly Monday Night Football game, the league announced. He went right for Burfict's head, launching at an upward angle as the linebacker was in a defenseless position. He then picked up a second personal on the same play for taunting.
There is no place in the National Football League for acts like this.
Roethlisberger did say Smith-Schuster deserved to be fined for the play, though mostly because of how he taunted Burfict after the hit rather than for the collision itself.
But Brown did approve of Smith-Schuster's block, which epitomized the viciousness of several hits in Monday's Steelers-Bengals matchup.
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Smith-Schuster scored just 3.7 FanDuel points in Week 13. "Specifically, with 7:10 remaining, on a passing play to a running back, you lined up a defender and delivered a violent and unnecessary blindside shot to his head and neck area", Runyan wrote.
The NFL is handing out suspensions like candy after letting Bengal wideout A.J. Green off the hook for choke-slamming Jacksonville Jaguars corner Jalen Ramsey earlier in the season.
Money collected for violations included in the schedule of fines are designated for programs for former players. "We already play a high-injury sport", said, via NFL.com.
The Bengals have been part of this discussion several times, as linebacker Vontaze Burfict was suspended five games (later reduced to three) for a preseason hit. White was sent to the concussion protocol after being sandwiched to the ground by Gronkowski, and Burfict was immobilized before being carried to the locker room after being dropped by Smith-Schuster. They could serve as examples for the rest of the league.