Given that Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier left the stadium in the same manner on a scary injury earlier in the game when he was attempting a tackle, it seemed even more tasteless for Smith-Schuster stand over Burfict and taunt him.
Burfict, who did not return, was tended to outside the locker room before the Bengals' medical personnel - at the behest of Burfict - removed the straps on the backboard.
Seeing an opportunity to take a free shot at Burfict, Smith-Schuster stuck his helmet into Burfict's jaw on a block.
Smith-Schuster added extra attention to the play by standing over an injured Burfict, who has a history of concussions as well as risky hits and actions that have drawn the ire of the league office. "We want to play within the rules; we respect player safety", said Tomlin. The block itself was bad, but at least he was trying to help his team by taking out Burfict, though there's no question at all that hitting Burfict that high and that hard was completely unnecessary. "Your conduct following the hit fell fair below the high standards of sportsmanship expected from an National Football League player".
"Obviously, we don't like the taunting, standing over him, things like that", he said.More news: "The Silence Breakers" are Time magazine's Person of the Year 2017
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Smith-Schuster will miss the Steelers' home game against Baltimore on Sunday night.
Official word from on a suspension for Smith-Schuster should come sometime later on Tuesday. He was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct and taunting.
Antonio Brown called the hit karma.
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 didn't think it was warranted", Roethlisberger said.
"I'll acknowledge there were some unfortunate things in that game that we don't need in our game, by both sides", Tomlin said.