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

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Smith-Schuster administered a blindside block on Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict during Pittsburgh's 23-20 win at Paul Brown Stadium. Gronkowski was also suspended one game for intentionally falling down on top of Buffalo Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White and striking him in the back of the head.

Smith-Schuster was penalized on the play, for an illegal peel-back block and then standing over Burfict to taunt him.

Complicating the issue for Smith-Schuster's teammates is Burfict's reputation as a dirty player, who's received $300,000 in fines over his career.

Reaction was fierce online, with several Long Beach football players tweeting #FreeJuJu while some sportswriters argued the penalty was correct per NFL rules.

By a kid who just got his driver's license, is barely old enough to drink, but has already cemented a legacy in Steelers history by simply punching the bully in the mouth; or more accurately, blocking him in to next week.

"The Competition Committee has clearly expressed its goal of "eliminating flagrant hits that have no place in our game" and has encouraged the League office to suspend offenders for egregious violations such as the one you committed last night", Runyan said in his ruling.

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"Oftentimes, plays like that are teachable moments and when you look at it, you have an opportunity to look at ways that things could be safer and things like that", Tomlin said.

Both Smith-Schuster and Iloka will be eligible to return to their team's active rosters on Monday, December 11 following the Baltimore-Pittsburgh and Chicago-Cincinnati games on December 10.

If there's one thing to feel good about though, it's that even in the stark, brutal world of professional football - "AFC North football", to be more specific, as Ben Roethlisberger was after the game - the universe can still mete out its own cosmic justice. Then afterward he leered over him, taunting him.

Ioka was suspended for a hit on Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown in the end zone in the fourth quarter when Brown was deemed to be a defenseless receiver. I was trying to get a big block for Le'Veon Bell for him to get upfield. He was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct and taunting.

As he did so, Pro Bowl Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown yelled the word "Karma" over and over in the background.

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