Suspended for the past week after his hit on Vontaze Burfict, we haven’t gotten a chance to hear from JuJu Smith-Schuster, aside from a couple of tweets he’s sent out since. But posted today to his Youtube channel, he discussed in detail the hit he made and his reaction to the league suspending him for Sunday night’s game against the Baltimore Ravens.
Playing the new Call of Duty, which is officially the most millennial thing ever, Smith-Schuster discusses the hit.
“I didn’t know it was 55 until after,” he said. “I was like, ‘oh, I hit 55?’ So I looked over him and I was like, ‘oh damn, that’s Vontaze Burfict. That’s one of the most dirtiest players in the game and I actually got him.'”
Smith-Schuster still defends the hit as legal. He was fined for the collision and then once more for taunting him afterwards.
“I was just trying to make a block. I felt like it was a clean hit because I hit him in his shoulder pads. You can argue his helmet, his head did go back but still, I thought it was a clean hit.”
Again, he apologized for taunting him, something he tweeted out shortly after the game ended.
I don’t have any intentions to hurt anyone when I play football. I didn’t mean to hurt Vontez Burfict, I just wanted to throw a block for my teammate. I apologize for standing over him and that isn’t me. Praying he gets better.
— JuJu Smith-Schuster (@TeamJuJu) December 5, 2017
Burfict missed this past weekend with a concussion.
Smith-Schuster said he was shocked to hear the NFL suspended him, especially after Bengals’ safety George Iloka won his appeal. Iloka was able to play Sunday though he was still hit with a large fine.
“I think the NFL is just trying to prove their point about something. I can understand that. But at the same time, I think it’s unfair the other guy gets his appeal turned over and he can play this week. But for me, it’s like, why me?”
And by the way, the league announced today no players from the Seattle/Jacksonville debacle would be suspended for what happened Sunday. Michael Bennett took a low shot at the Jaguars’ center on a kneeldown and Quinton Jefferson attempted to fight a fan who threw a bottle at him. In the league’s eyes, that’s evidently less egregious.
With his suspension officially over, he is allowed to rejoin his teammates and be at the Steelers’ facility. Where he can pick up his AFC North Championship hat and T-Shirt. He’s certainly earned it.