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Steelers’ JuJu Smith-Schuster and Bengals’ George Iloka Suspended One Game for Hits to Head

JuJu Smith-Schuster and George Iloka have been suspended for making dirty hits to the head. 

Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster​ and Bengals safety George Iloka have been suspended one game for dangerous blows to the head in Monday night’s game, the NFL announced Tuesday

Both plays occurred on the same drive in the fourth quarter. First, Smith-Schuster leveled Cincinnati linebacker Vontaze Burfict with a blindside block and stood over him, taunting him. Burfict was taken from the field on a stretcher and diagnosed with a concussion. Smith-Schuster was penalized 15 yards for unnecessary roughness but not ejected. 

“The contact you made with your opponent place the opposing player at risk of serious injury and could have been avoided,” NFL VP of football operations Jon Runyan wrote in a letter to Smith-Schuster informing him of the suspension. “Your conduct following the hit fell far below the standards of sportsmanship expected of an NFL player.”

Iloka’s hit was on Pittsburgh receiver Antonio Brown six plays later. He struck Brown square in the head as he caught a game-tying touchdown pass, though Brown was uninjured.

“[Y]ou violently struck a defenseless receiver in the head and neck area,” Runyan told Iloka. 

Iloka will miss Cincinnati’s game against the Bears, while Smith-Schuster will sit out an important game against the Ravens.