Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier played a solid game Saturday night in the teams Wild Card game win over the Cincinatti Bengals and that included him forcing two fumbles. Shazier’s first forced fumbled happened in the third quarter after he hit Bengals running back Giovani Bernard in the head and neck area shortly after a reception and while he wasn’t flagged on the play, several thought he should’ve been.
As of Thursday afternoon, Shazier had yet to receive a fine notice from the league via FedEx and that’s probably a sign that he won’t receive one at all.
Immediately after the play in question happened, former NFL referees Mike Pereira and Mike Carey, who now work as television rules analyst, both deemed Shazier’s hit as being legal with the latter calling it “unfortunate.” Even though Shazier’s hit wasn’t penalized, he was still subject to being fined if the league deemed it as being illegal.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin refused to discuss the hit Tuesday during his weekly press conference and wouldn’t even describe his interpretation of the rule as it relates to the hit.
At some point during the offseason, perhaps we will get more clarification from the league as to why Shazier’s hit was legal.
Shazier, the Steelers first round draft pick in 2014, recorded 13 total tackles and 2 defensed passes Saturday night against the Bengals in addition to his two forced fumbles.