JuJu Smith-Schuster apologizes for hit on Vontaze Burfict

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Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster injured Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict with an illegal block on Monday night, then added insult to injury by taunting Burfict as he lay motionless on the field. Smith-Schuster apologized afterward.

Smith-Schuster said he wasn’t singling Burfict out and didn’t even realize that’s who he hit.

“I didn’t know it was Burfict at first. All I saw was the first Bengal was going to tackle . . . and my instinct is I gotta block for my teammate,” Smith-Schuster said. “And me just playing ball, I hit him. After I seen the replay I think I should’ve held back a little bit more from blocking him. Also, I believe that that’s not me. I should’ve never stood over him. I apologize for that and with that being said, I hope he gets better.”

Burfict was carried off the field on a stretcher, but he reportedly got off the stretcher and was walking around in the Bengals’ locker room afterward. He is now in the NFL’s concussion protocol. Smith-Schuster will certainly face league discipline, both for the hit on Burfict and for taunting him afterward.

88 responses to “JuJu Smith-Schuster apologizes for hit on Vontaze Burfict

  1. The helmet to helmet was probably unintentional, the taunting was a really bad look, but good for Smith-Schuster to at least apologize. He will certainly be out some money, he may be suspended, but hopefully his word is good that the taunting of an injured player was an out of character moment.

  2. Smith-Schuster said he wasn’t singling Burfict out and didn’t even realize that’s who he hit.
    —————-

    Well that kind of makes it worse then don’t it? Because if he doesn’t know who he hit and then stood over then he just looks like a punk instead of a teammate getting retribution (or as Antonia Brown calls it, karma)

  3. “I didn’t know it was Burfict at first. All I saw was the first Bengal was going to tackle . . . and my instinct is I gotta block for my teammate,” Smith-Schuster said. “And me just playing ball, I hit him. After I seen the replay I think I should’ve held back a little bit more from blocking him.

    Also, I believe that that’s not me.

    I should’ve never stood over him. I apologize for that and with that being said, I hope he gets better.”

    If that isn’t you, who was it?

    I might have believed that you didn’t intend to, if you hadn’t been so dam proud of yourself immediately after the hit.

  4. They’ll give him 2 games…the upshot being Gronk will be back and JuJu will be out when the Pats play the Stealers.

  5. It was you and you did do that but it is real hard to feel sorry for Burfict, one of the dirtiest players in the league.

  6. Besides the taunt afterwards, that play was eerily similar to what Jarvis Landry did to Aaron Williams in week 7 last year.
    Landry was fined, no suspension.
    Williams hasn’t stepped on an NFL field since.

  7. Now we get to see how fair and balanced the NFL really is. Has to be at least one game after what they gave Gronk, right Steeler fans? Just cut & paste your comments from Sunday/Monday. Just change the name form Gronk to JuJu.

  8. Don’t like any if the hits. I like hard Got to g football…not cheap football, which seems to be most games the Steelers and Cinnci play. Someone is going to get hurt.

  9. I don’t have a problem with the block. The WR just had perfect leverage on the play. But standing over him like that, at that crucial time with the game on the line, was beyond dumb. The Steelers are trying to position themselves for home field advantage, and this young kid isn’t aware of all that???

  10. anyone getting sick of some of these guys just doing whatever they want as long as they give a canned apology after and tell us how their actions don’t define them as much as whatever they are selling during the apology?

  11. I think this ordinarily would have been a fine, but the entire game got out of hand eventually. And it’s nothing new with these two teams.

  12. JuJu’s block was perfectly legal not all that long ago, it was just a hard bang-bang play in the heat of action. The hit on Brown in the end was much more of a blatant dirty head shot. The Gronk hit against a guy already on the ground was much more dirty and blatant as well.

    Considering Buttfict’s history of cheap shots against Steelers, it was definitely karma, no wonder Antonio Brown loved it so much. The taunting was a really bad look though, I suspect that was right about the time he realized exactly which Bengal it was he’d leveled. That should add a bit more into his fine, but can’t fault his effort or willingness to block for a teammate though.

    Go Steelers!

  13. Watch him get a longer suspension for a hard hit on a play than Gronkowski got for an obviously dirty hit well after the play.

  14. I agree with the other commenters thats its tough to feel sorry for Burfict. But still there is a difference between wanting to see a guy kicked out of football and wanting to see a life changing injury. And also, whatever we all think about Burfict we should stil care about the game, and the hit plus taunt was as bad for the game as it was for Burfict.

  15. Everyone apologizes, Gronk included, because they are forced to. It doesn’t mean it’s sincere. Its just part of the protocol before they dole out your punishment.

  16. Honestly, I’m not sure how that hit was illegal. It was from the front, helmet to helmet contact was minimal, and JJSS led with his shoulder against a guy who is 40 pounds heavier. The taunting was absolutely a penalty, but given the history of the rivalry, understandable. Maybe Burfict will think before trying to injure another player….but that would require at least a shred of intelligence. I’m not holding my breath.

  17. According to most comments, as long as it’s not a player on your team, hits like this are OK! EG: The hit on Burfict was not as bad as the forearm to the head of Joe Flacco and except for Raven fans, all enjoyed the fact that Flacco received a concussion!

  18. jerruhjones says:
    December 5, 2017 at 6:58 am
    Karma is a bitch

    Tell me about it! Can’t wait til they play again so we can see who is next. Want to bet JuJu won’t be too excited about a shallow crossing pattern over the middle?!? He just put a gigantic target on his chest and pretty sure Burfict will make it a point to zap it. We will see who is standing over whom then.

  19. The NFL should announce that after this game they are suspending all player safety initiatives because the players are obviously intent on killing each other no matter what the league does to try and stop them

  20. RegisHawk says:
    December 5, 2017 at 6:39 am
    They’ll give him 2 games…the upshot being Gronk will be back and JuJu will be out when the Pats play the Stealers.
    ——————-
    Does Schuster have a history? I would say thats one game not two.
    I agreed with the one game for Gronk as well.

  21. That’s what we’re used to seeing from Steelers players. They’re coached to reach over the line as far as you can, taunt the opponent afterward, and if you get caught, that’s okay, even if it cost the team.

    Otherwise, Tomlin would have sat him one play, but instead he condoned it by keeping him on the field.

  22. Eh, he’s just joining the long-standing tradition in Pittsburg to go after head shots or diving at knees, then making a pretense of contrition after the game. Cry all you want Kimo, we can all see that you lunged at Carson’s knee.

  23. Want to endear yourself to the city of Pittsburgh? Bully the bully who knock your best player out of the playoffs. He knew exactly what he was doing and I’m glad he did it–this is football!

  24. Why did they only get penalized 15 yards. You have a personal foul during the play and dead ball taunting. That’s 30 yards. I mean if he didn’t taunt right away and waited for the guy to be stretchered off before he started they wouldn’t have marked off and additional 15? Dead ball is a Dead ball it shouldn’t matter how long after the play.

  25. So if Burfict ends JuJu’s career with a knee shot in the next game, will that be karma? Or will that be a cheap shot? It’s hard to keep this all straight.

  26. As a Bengals fan, I was ok with the hit. He got flagged, will get suspended – lets move on. Burfict has done it so we have no right to condemn this. BTW, Marvin needs to go. Glad John Ross didn’t get hurt last night….

  27. Not a fan of either team but I believe Smith-Schuster. He seems like a good kid. Everyone is so in tune with these head shots now and watching in slow motion it looks like he was head hunting, but the speed of the game is a completely different reality. I say the same for Iloka’s hit on Brown.

  28. This is not even close to what Gronk did because his act was premeditated and JuJu was spur of the moment. Now the taunting was uncalled for and should be a fineable offense. Having said that we’re it any other player I would suggest a very heavy fine but since it’s karma for a player who should not be in the NFL I would like too see a first time offense type fine.

    Both of these teams need to be told by the NFL that the cheapshots need to stop in the future and that the suspensions and fines in the future will very be severe . This feud has reached dangerous proportions with both coaches being negligent in controlling their players.

    My thoughts are with Ryan Shazier this morning far more than a payback for Burfict.

  29. Burfict does worse so I have mixed feelings, but JuJu better keep his head on a swivel after he gets back from that suspension. AB may pay his fine for him, but will he ride the bench for him?

    2 dirty teams full of scummy players, Tomlin should’ve been perm banned for trying to trip Jacoby. Affirmative action stepped in and threatened to set it off if he was tho

  30. Juju did the same thing in college always going all out every play. He used to throw huge blocks for his teammates and lay his body on the line. Should remind the Steelers a little of Hines.

  31. Really, the taunting is the worst thing that Smith-Schuster did there. The claim that it was a peal-back hit by the absolutely awful Jon Gruden (for the love of God, PLEASE somebody give him a coaching job so he I can never hear him again!) is ridiculous. Smith-Schuster made the same block later that drive; the only difference was he hit that defender more to the shoulder than the head. So on the Burfict hit he aimed too high. The fifteen yarder is justifiable, the suspension for taunting is justifiable, but the pearl-clutchers are wrong about the hit itself.

  32. I do not advocate this, but I cannot believe this does not happen more often. Burfict is maybe the dirtiest player in the history of the league, with virtually unlimited examples of him intentionally trying to injure other players both during and after plays. The fact that nobody has intentionally ended his career to protect players is both shocking and indicative that NFL players are of a higher caliber than this jerk.

  33. Apologize to a dirty player like burfict. There is no need for apologizing. It was a legal hit and burfict deserved every bit of his own medicine. Way to go JUJU. Taunting was the only thing he did wrong and he probably deserved that.

  34. Seriously… good clean football block. Anyone that thinks differently should stick to soccer. The taunting was a penalty.

  35. Suspend him for same as Frat Boy. But realize this: HFL does not have eforcer protocols that NHL does; Burfict has been out of control since before he went undrafted. No surprise he gets a hit like this, just as ESPN publishes “profile” where Burfict says Brown faked it. If NFL wants to stop, they need to announce and enforce a real policy — not one that ignores Suh’s throat grab or AJ Green’s mauling. The street fight that was Talib-Crabtree reduced to 1 game is a joke. NHL stopped bench clearing brawls, stick swinging led to assault charges in court, fights are now within limits. Burfict should be banned for a season (not players smoking weed), and the Frat Boys, Schusters, Talibs and Crabtrees shouild get minimum 3 game suspensions — make it 6 if appeals will cut in half.

  36. After what Burfict has done over his career, it was only a matter of time before somebody feeds him his own gold teeth. The hit was ugly, but my guess is JuJu is getting a lot of high fives behind closed doors.

    He’ll take the suspension and the fine,slap on the wrists, don’t do it again.

  37. 4 games minimum for trying to injure and then taunting. Time for Juju to sit and contemplate the future. What’s good for the goose…and all that kind of stuff.

  38. sdiegosteel says:
    December 5, 2017 at 9:27 am
    Really, the taunting is the worst thing that Smith-Schuster did there. The claim that it was a peal-back hit by the absolutely awful Jon Gruden (for the love of God, PLEASE somebody give him a coaching job so he I can never hear him again!) is ridiculous. Smith-Schuster made the same block later that drive; the only difference was he hit that defender more to the shoulder than the head. So on the Burfict hit he aimed too high. The fifteen yarder is justifiable, the suspension for taunting is justifiable, but the pearl-clutchers are wrong about the hit itself.

    ————————-

    That was absolutely an illegal blind side block. By the book. You cannot come from the outside in and initiate contact to the side of a defender. You are correct he did the exact same thing later in that drive and should have been called again. they only difference is that contact was a tad more to the front???? The refs were terrible last night and with 173 yards of penalties against the Bengals were determined to hand it to the Steelers. A few people have posted this, but why on that play were both live ball and dead ball penalties not allowed to be accepted? This is why the NFL is hard to watch. They have their favorites they want to win week in and week out and do what ever is necessary to make that happen…..173 in penalties. At least 50 of them were given.

  39. Illegal block for sure (since Hines Ward broke Rivers jaw), but check out the video in slow mo. He was leading with his shoulder which hit Burfict in the upper chest. There was helmet to helmet, too, but the main impact was with the shoulder. It was illegal because it was a “peal-back” block

  40. Just watched this over and over in slow mo. Anyone who thinks this was not helmet to helmet headhunting is in need of a dose of reality and humanity. Filthy, filthy hit. Much worse than Gronk’s brain cramp.

  41. sikoix says:

    December 5, 2017 at 7:44 am

    anyone getting sick of some of these guys just doing whatever they want as long as they give a canned apology after and tell us how their actions don’t define them as much as whatever they are selling during the apology?

    *********************************************
    I don’t like it either, but it seems like that’s the American way to do things nowadays. I guess we have to look in the mirror on this one. I guess it makes us feel powerful to be able to sit in judgment of others.

  42. Suspend him for a game or heavy fine either way nothing beyond that. Burfict has a history of doing this in the league so it won’t surprise me if it turns out to be a hefty fine instead of a suspension.

  43. Lemmy Aksyadis says:
    December 5, 2017 at 7:30 am
    Now we get to see how fair and balanced the NFL really is. Has to be at least one game after what they gave Gronk, right Steeler fans? Just cut & paste your comments from Sunday/Monday. Just change the name form Gronk to JuJu.

    Really? So, you see no difference between an after the play, blatant cheap shot where Gronk launched himself to the ground and slammed his braced elbow into another player’s head, and a block made DURING a play? Yes, the block was illegal and thus merits as fine, but comparing these two acts makes no sense.

  44. For the record, Vontaze Burfict did not receive any penalties last night. You all are acting like he was a major contributor to the crap that happened last night. He was on the receiving end of it and that is all.

    The block on Burfict was illegal. You can hate the rule (and I’m personally not a big fan of it but it’s supposed to help with safety. Come to think of it, didn’t they make it a rule after Hines Ward did the same to Keith Rivers?) but it’s still a rule and he was rightly penalized for it.

  45. I would have to say this is a fine, and not a suspension. Was classless of him to stand over him like that, but no where near the level of what Gronk did to the Bills corner. This was a football play, one that is illegal, but not that uncommon. It definitely deserved a penalty. Gronk’s was an after the whistle, pre-mediated, pissed he didnt get a call, forearm shiver to the back of someones head, while on the ground. Not a football play in anyway shape or form.

  46. TheTruth says:

    December 5, 2017 at 10:26 am

    4 games minimum for trying to injure and then taunting. Time for Juju to sit and contemplate the future. What’s good for the goose…and all that kind of stuff.
    _________________________________________________________________________________

    4 games is way too many. I think one game is enough and I’m a Bengals fan.

  47. “That’s not me”. Who was it then? Same goes for Gronk and anyone else who does something stupid like this. It WAS you. You lost your composure and you made a huge mistake. Now the entire team will suffer for it.

  48. Two things: the hit was illegal, although I dont think he meant to go helmet to helmet and the taunting was uncalled for. As for those saying Karma, guess what they play twice a year every year…what do you think will be going through Burfict’s mind next time he sees #19 across from him? Plus what the hell is wrong with these guys, with all this CTE evidence, why are they taking head shots. Listen Burfict is a dirty player, but do you honestly want to see him or other players get brain damage. cmon use common sense.

  49. Anyone who claims that helmet to helmet hit wan’t intentional is either too stupid to live, or simply lying through their keyboard.

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