PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA/AP) – Pittsburgh Steelers rookie wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and Cincinnati Bengals cornerback George Iloka have been suspended one game each by the NFL for violating league safety rules.READ MORE: House Select Committee To Begin Investigation Into Jan. 6 Attack On U.S. Capitol
Smith-Schuster was flagged for unnecessary roughness and taunting after a blindside hit on Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict in the fourth quarter of Pittsburgh’s 23-20 victory Monday night.
Iloka was penalized for unnecessary roughness for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown.
— NFL (@NFL) December 5, 2017
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.READ MORE: Flames Rip Through West Mifflin Home In Overnight Fire
Runyan suspended Iloka for striking a defenseless receiver in the head and neck area. Brown, who caught the game-tying pass on the play, remained in the game.
As for Smith-Schuster’s suspension, KDKA Steelers Insider Ed Bouchette, with the Post-Gazette, thinks the NFL “is going down a slippery slope when they start suspending guys for blocking. Where does it end?”
Bouchette says the same of kind of blocks happen all over the league, but this was a primetime game featuring two teams with a long, violent history.
“This was Monday Night Football and the NFL had to make a statement because of the brutal nature, and oh, they suspended somebody from Cincinnati, too. So, they think that’s the equality of the law,” said Bouchette.
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(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)