NFL Suspends Steelers’ Smith-Schuster, Bengals’ Iloka

Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and Bengals safety George Iloka have each been suspended one game for violations of safety-related playing rules on Monday night. The league announced the suspensions in a press release on Tuesday, and has already denied an appeal by Smith-Schuster. JuJu Smith-Schuster (vertical)

In his letter to Smith-Schuster notifying him of the suspension, NFL Vice President of Football Operations Jon Runyan slammed his unsportsmanlike conduct in his illegal hit on Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict. Runyan also noted of Smith-Schuster’s taunting:

You 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.”

Smith-Schuster is appealing his one-game suspension, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Per the collective bargaining agreement, his appeal will be heard by either Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Brooks or former NFL receiver James Thrash.

Meanwhile, Iloka will serve a one-game ban for his helmet to helmet hit on Antonio Brown with 3:55 left in the game. He’ll miss Sunday’s game against the Bears while Smith-Schuster will be forced out of Sunday’s primetime matchup against the Ravens.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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18 comments on “NFL Suspends Steelers’ Smith-Schuster, Bengals’ Iloka

  1. madmanTX

    League has to protect even thugs like Burfict, don’t they?

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  2. forwhomjoshbelltolls

    Pay the fine, serve the suspension, whatever.

    It was worth it.

    Burfict tries to injure someone every snap and the league does nothing to stop him.

    Someone did.

    “Karma”.

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  3. dwilson10

    Juju never hit Burfict in the head. If you look at the play in slow motion or even a picture of the hit, Juju led with his shoulder and hit Burfict in the chest area. Nothing was illegal with his block and the flags were never thrown until he stood over him and taunted him. If not for his taunting, he probably would’ve never been flagged.

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    • jim31762

      Doesn’t matter where he hit him. It was a blind side block. Illegal, plain and simple. It’s really easy to see

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  4. TJECK109

    Then every hit that comes in contact with the head must be a suspension from now on. They’ve set the precedent. If your laying a block you don’t know when a player may turn his head. When DB goes to break up a play you dont know when the player will turn. I don’t agree with either suspension at all considering some of the other hits this year. This seems like a way to keep Kraft happy since Gronk was suspended

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    • TJECK109

      Also it appears picking up an officials flag and tossing in the stands is acceptable…. the discipline in this league is a joke

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      • tsolid

        The penalty was for the “Blind-Side” block and I’m sure the suspension was for taunting. I was at the game I was yelling KARMA KARMA KARMA for the dirtiest player in the NFL! Kinda felt bad when the stretcher came out, but I stand by my comment

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  5. sportsfan101

    Interesting to see when juju and gronks suspension are they play this week and both suspensions are upheld the week 15 pitt/ne game will be far different.

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  6. Thronson5

    One game..interesting…Gronk tries to hurt someone laying on the ground face first, causes them a concussion and could’ve hurt them seriously all intentionally and he got one game only and while I agree Ju Ju should get one game mostly because he taunted the dude while laying on the ground not so much for the hit although it was a vicious hit when you watch it he did lead with his shoulder but his hit was in the best of the moment going for a block for Bell and Gronk was intentionally trying to hurt White. I think both players definitely do deserve the suspension but my point is that Gronk should’ve gotten 2 games and I hate the fact these guys can appeal a suspension when they do something wrong. Blows my mind. If I mess up at work I’m fired, wish I could appeal it and keep working lol

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  7. leprechaun

    I wish JuJu was a Bear the mans a leader and it showed

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  8. hill
    hill

    I hate the NFL.

    Ryan Shazier could be paralysed and here we are, bunch of knuckle-draggers debating these other cretinous plays.

    Grunt grunt grunt.

    That’s caveman for ‘the NFL is dead’

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  9. DarkGhost

    Let’s call it what it is juju hit him to hard. The nfl needs to just drop the pretense of hitting defenseless players and unnecessary roughness and call it what it is. It’s a 15 yard penalty for hitting someone to hard.

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  10. dust44

    Anyone else watch the full play. Burfict grabbed his lower leg/knee area and tried to roll over. That’s more egregious then the actual block. Burfict is the dirtiest player in the league and he finally got what’s coming to him. He will b in the lineup next week. He has the stones to call out Antonio Brown after he intentionally when for only helmet but has teammates calling out JuJu for a illegal block. Smh. The NFL might b dead with this commissioner. (Who doesn’t deserve his name even posted).

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  11. bbcatt

    Let’s be honest here. From Romanowski to Burflict the NFL has been too tolerant of dirty players. Why? Because it attracts a certain type of fan. The NFL could care less about who gets maimed or whose career gets ruined. It’s all about ratings and the money. A one game suspension for Gronk is a freakin joke and I’m a big Pats fan. He’s lucky that it wasn’t me making the disciplinary call. He’d be gone for the rest of the regular season.

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  12. biggus58

    Its a kinder and gentler world now. Twenty years ago those type of hits would be applauded and made highlight reels. Now those hits are pooh poohed by fans and talking heads alike. Next thing they’ll want to remove statues of Vince Lombardi for his hard nose coaching style, and each player instead of a post game meal will receive a twinkie and juice box, just like little league

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    • dugdog83

      That was a huge hit but him standing over him taunting hurt his case.

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