SMITH-SCHUSTER & GEORGE ILOKA SUSPENDED ONE GAME EACH FOR VIOLATIONS OF SAFETY-RELATED
JUJU SMITH-SCHUSTER of
the Pittsburgh Steelers and GEORGE ILOKA
of the Cincinnati Bengals have been suspended without pay for one game each for
violations of safety-related playing rules in Monday’s game.
Vice President of Football Operations JON
RUNYAN issued the suspensions.
his letter to Smith-Schuster notifying him of the suspension, Runyan noted that
Smith-Schuster violated Rule 12, Section 2, Article 7 which prohibits
unnecessary contact against a player who is in a defenseless posture and Rule
12, Section 3, Article 1 which prohibits unsportsmanlike conduct.
“You are suspended for
the dangerous and unsportsmanlike acts you committed during the fourth quarter
of last night’s game. 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. You then “celebrated” the play by
standing over him and taunting him. The
contact you made with your opponent placed the opposing player at risk of
serious injury and could have been avoided.
Your conduct following the hit fell far below the high standards of
sportsmanship expected of an NFL player.”
In his letter to Iloka notifying him of the suspension, Runyan
stated that Iloka violated Rule 12, Section 2, Article 7 which prohibits
forcibly hitting a defenseless player’s head or neck area with the helmet,
facemask, forearm or shoulder.
a play which began with 3:55 left in the game, you violently struck a defenseless
receiver in the head and neck area. 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
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.
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the suspensions
may be appealed within three business days. Appeals are heard and decided by
either DERRICK BROOKS or JAMES THRASH, the officers jointly
appointed and compensated by the NFL and NFLPA to decide appeals of on-field
Money collected for violations included in the schedule of
fines are designated for programs for former players. The NFL and the NFLPA have agreed to donate
fine money through the NFL Foundation to the NFL Player Care Foundation and the
Gene Upshaw Players Association’s Players Assistance Trust.
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