Juju Smith-Schuster just did to Vontaze Burfict what the linebacker has done to dozens of other NFL players in his career. The Pittsburgh Steelers rookie receiver absolutely lit up the Cincinnati Bengals linebacker on a crackback block in the fourth quarter of Monday night’s game.
Check out this hit:
Burfict was carted off the field while immobilized and evaluated for a head injury, though he eventually wound up walking into the locker room under his own power.
Smith-Schuster got two penalties on the play, one for the hit (which came against a defenseless player) and another for taunting.
A few years ago, Smith-Schuster’s block would have been completely legal. He appears to lead with his shoulder, but their helmets did make contact and he launched himself into Burfict. Obviously there’s going to be a massive fine here for Smith-Schuster and possibly a suspension. It’s worth noting that Smith-Schuster doesn’t have a history of dirty play, it just seems like the Steelers-Bengals rivalry brings this kind of thing out of guys.