Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster nearly broke the Internet after putting an illegal block on Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict in Monday night’s game.
The incident in question took place in the fourth quarter of the AFC North matchup, when Burfict was preparing for a tackle attempt on Le’Veon Bell. Smith-Schuster had other plans, though, as he came flying in with an illegal blindside block that sent the Bengals linebacker to the turf, which eventually led to him being carted off the field. Smith-Schuster was penalized for unnecessary roughness, as well as for taunting, which resulted from him standing over Burfict to rub it in afterward.
The NFL world has since been buzzing about Smith-Schuster’s cheap shot, with a number of current and former players taking to Twitter to weigh in about it. Here are some of the best reactions.
Former Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew compared Smith-Schuster’s hit to Rob Gronkowski’s elbow to the head of Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White. Gronk has since been suspended one game for the late hit.
Not even close!!! The worse part of juju play is he stood over him and that should never happen. His block was during the play. Gronk decided to dive on a player laying on the ground with his back to him 5 or 6 seconds after the whistle blew!!!!
— Maurice Jones-Drew (@MJD) December 5, 2017
Cardinals safety Budda Baker commented that the helmet-to-helmet hit George Iloka put on Antonio Brown in the end zone was worse than Smith-Schuster’s block, in his eyes.
That hit on brown was worst than what Juju did
— Budda Baker (@buddabaker32) December 5, 2017
Both Titans defensive tackle Antwaun Woods and former journeyman tackle George Foster commented that it reminded them of a hit Hines Ward once put on former Bengals linebacker Keith Rivers roughly nine years ago.
Juju out there playing like Hines Ward
— Antwaun Woods Sr. (@AntwaunWoods_) December 5, 2017
Juju been watching that Hines Ward tape. Hines hit another Bengal(Keith Rivers) the exact same way and he was never the same again. Had to get jaw wired.Timid player for the rest of his career.
— FOST (@GeorgeFoster72) December 5, 2017
Burfict’s teammate, cornerback William Jackson, was extremely critical of the cheap shot, as you might imagine.
Will Jackson on JuJu hit: if that was Tez they woulda kicked him out. They should have kicked him out. It was dirty hit. #Bengals
— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonCMG) December 5, 2017
Now that the NFL world has weighed in, it will be interesting to see how the league office feels about Smith-Schuster’s illegal blindside block.