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JuJu Smith-Schuster’s One-Game Suspension Upheld by the NFL; Won’t Play vs Ravens

Steelers rookie wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was been suspended one game each by the NFL for violating league safety rules, after the fourth quarter hit of Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict in the fourth quarter of Pittsburgh’s 23-20 victory Monday night.

In addition, cornerback George Iloka was penalized for unnecessary roughness for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown, and was hit with a one-game suspension as well.

Jon Runyan, the NFL’s vice president of football operations, ruled that Smith-Schuster “delivered a violent and unnecessary blindside shot to (Burfict’s) head and neck area.” Burfict left the game on a stretcher and did not return.

The wide out did appeal the suspension, but late on Tuesday it was upheld, meaning that he won’t be on the field Sunday night at home in a critical home game against the Ravens that basically could clinch the AFC North.

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger spoke about his rookie wide out on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh, and said he felt the taunting penalty Smith-Schuster got was one he needs to handle better.

“I told him afterwards, I said listen, ‘Love the effort, love how you’re trying to help your teammate get open. Standing over a guy, uncalled for.’ And he knew it. I think he knew it right away. I think he regretted it and he genuinely felt bad about that.”


Matt Loede has been in the sports media for over 16 years, with experience covering the MLB, NBA, and NFL. On Sunday’s during football season, you can hear Matt on national networks like Fox Sports Radio, Associated Press, and others. Born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, Matt studies and talks football inside and out, and is anxious to share his thoughts and comments with readers on a daily basis.



  1. CHRIS

    December 6, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    Should have been a longer suspension…rotten play. Getting tired of unnecesary cheap shots that seem a lot more prevalent recently. It’s one thing to have a rivalry, quite another to intentionally hurt your opponent. Maybe institute a fine where the offender’s money goes to cover the medical bills as well as loss of wages for opponent he inflicts injury on? Enough is enough.

  2. Dave B.

    December 6, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    Totally disagree . Dont take my word for anything , look at the video in slow motion . Schuster was directly in front of Burfict when he lowered his shoulder and hit him straight in the chest . If Schuster had simply walked away , in all likelihood , were not having this conversation . However , Schuster stood over him and glared down at him and by rule that is taunting and thats what caused the problem . The actual hit was a violent hit but it was clean . On the other side of the coin , if you want to talk about dirty cheap shots then look at the Rob Gronkowski hit in the Patriots game against the Bills Sunday . The Bills defensive back is laying flat on the ground with his face to the turf when Gronkowski comes flying out of nowhere and delivers a forearm to the back of the guys head as he lays flat on the ground . That looked like something out of a Steelers , Raiders game from the 1970’s . Bottom line , to give Schuster the same one game suspension they gave Gronkowski is ludicrous and completely unfair . Gronkowski should have got at the very least a two game suspension . He was clearly trying to hurt the Bills player and he didnt care who saw it . Lastly , there an old saying that goes like this , what goes around comes around . Vontaze Burfict has made a living for years of trying to injure opposing players for no earthly reason . Monday night , it came home to him .

  3. Rocky Falleti

    December 6, 2017 at 10:42 pm

    JuJu Smith-Shusters hit on Burfect was legal and not blind sided as reported. If it was blind sided then Burfect is blind in both eyes as it came from the front with his shoulder to Burfects chest. If he had a head injury it was because he hit the turf hard head first. He should have been penalized and fined for standing over him but not suspended. Now Gronks hit was dirty and should have gotten a bigger suspension than one game. There was 279 penalty yards and Pittsburgh had 69, what was Cinci’s total? Burfect taunted the kid the whole game and never expected a 20 yr. old kid could block like that.

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