National Football League suspends JuJu Smith-Schuster, George Iloka one game each for hits

JuJu Smith-Schuster gets one-game suspension

JuJu Smith-Schuster, who scored a touchdown against the Ravens and had 47 yards receiving in the Steelers' 26-9 victory at M&T Bank Stadium on October 1, has been suspended for one game by the National Football League for a violation of safety-related playing rules.

Things between the two AFC North rivals have always been fairly tense, but Smith-Schuster ratcheted up the tension Monday night when he delivered a massive blow to Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict, an illegal hit that left a lot of people angry at the wideout. He said he had yet to watch a television copy of the block, but stood by his postgame statement that Smith-Schuster's "actions after the hit were more disturbing than the hit itself". "Your conduct following the hit fell far below the high standards of sportsmanship expected of an National Football League player". And that's not going to happen overnight.

Smith-Schuster apologized for the hit during post-game interviews as well as on Twitter. "I was trying to get a big block for Le'Veon Bell for him to get upfield", Smith-Schuster said. Also, I believe that that's not me. "I didn't mean to stand over him".

Iolka was suspended for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown late in the fourth quarter.

"I haven't had an opportunity to see the television copy often times particularly in HD - that provides the best case scenario", Tomlin told reporters.

The NFL explained he was suspended for hitting a defenseless receiver in the head.

Both players will be eligible to return to their teams' lineups on December 11. They can appeal within three business days. The Bengals set a franchise record with 13 penalties for 173 yards. "And just the way he went down, it was just like - I don't know, man", Burfict said.

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