The Pittsburgh Steelers will face the Baltimore Ravens without wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, and the Cincinnati Bengals will host the Chicago Bears without safety George Iloka.
That’s the fallout from an incredibly physical Monday Night Football game that saw Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict knocked out of the game and Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier rushed to a hospital without feeling in his legs.
“JuJu Smith-Schuster [and] George Iloka have each been suspended 1 game for violations of safety-related playing rules,” wrote NFL Vice President of Football Communications Michael Signora.
Smith-Schuster was flagged for a hard block on Burfict; he hit him high and then stood over him, taunting him, after the play. Iloka hit Steelers wideout Antonio Brown in the head on a touchdown catch that Brown still made.
Signora also posted the official notice from the NFL, which reads in part:
“You [Smith-Schuster] are suspended for the dangerous and unsportsmanlike acts you committed during the fourth quarter of last night’s game. 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. You then “celebrated” the play by standing over him and taunting him. The contact you made with your opponent placed the opposing player at risk of serious injury and could have been avoided. Your conduct following the hit fell far below the high standards of sportsmanship expected of an NFL player.
“On a play which began with 3:55 left in the game, you [Iloka] violently struck a defenseless receiver in the head and neck area. The Competition Committee has clearly expressed its goal of ‘eliminating flagrant hits that have no place in our game’ and has encouraged the League office to suspend offenders for egregious violations such as the one you committed last night.”
It’s interesting that they both get the same suspension given to New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski for diving on Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White after the play was dead and giving him a concussion.
Smith-Schuster, at least, will appeal.
Source text and confirms that Juju Smith-Schuster is appealing his 1-game suspension. #Steelers
— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) December 5, 2017