Roethlisberger did say Smith-Schuster deserved to be fined for the play, though mostly because of how he taunted Burfict after the hit rather than for the collision itself.
As Williams points out, many current and National Football League players believe Smith-Schuster and Iloka shouldn't have been suspended at all - Mitchell among them. "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", Runyan wrote. "I can assess a judgment on the fact that he stood over him and that's not how we play and that's not reflective of the sportsman he is". Burfict is one of the NFL's villains, an oft-punished player due to dirty hits.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger doesn't think Smith-Schuster should have received the same suspension as Gronkowski. The NFL said that hit showed clear intent to injure and took place after the play had ended.
After the game, Smith-Schuster said he didn't know it was Burfict.
. It wasn't away from the ball, it wasn't a hit on a kicker or a defenseless player.
Both players can return to their team's active rosters on December 11. The Bengals set a franchise record with 13 penalties for 173 yards. The contest drew criticism, but Tomlin said Tuesday he's "not going to react to comments and opinions from others". "I apologize for that and with that being said, I hope he gets better". "My job as head coach here is to minimize those things before they occur".
"But they did last night in an instance or two. We have a responsibility to make this game as safe as it could be possibly be".
"He shouldn't have stood over him".
Tomlin said football is "safer than it's been", but also added that there's room for improvement.