The Monday Night Football clash between the AFC North rival Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals was one of the most violent games we have seen in recent memory.
Early in the game, Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier was stretchered off the field with no motion in his legs.
By the end of the game, Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict was also immobilized and taken off the field on a backboard after being blown up on an illegal block by rookie wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.
Smith-Schuster hit Burfict on a peel back block and added insult to injury as he stood over his injured opponent.
Smith-Schuster can expect a fine for the hit, with many calling for a suspension. Smith-Schuster was called for unnecessary roughness and taunting, but was not ejected for the helmet-to-helmet hit.
After the game, Smith-Schuster took to social media to apologize.
I don’t have any intentions to hurt anyone when I play football. I didn’t mean to hurt Vontez Burfict, I just wanted to throw a block for my teammate. I apologize for standing over him and that isn’t me. Praying he gets better.
— JuJu Smith-Schuster (@TeamJuJu) December 5, 2017
Given what had happened to Shazier earlier in the game, you would have expected Smith-Schuster not to act out in that manner. However, with the tone of the game, the young pass catcher got caught up in the emotion.
Let’s hope Smith-Schuster learned his lesson and avoids hits like that in the future, because there is absolutely no place for them on the football field.
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