A writer who has covered the Pittsburgh Steelers since 2002 reported via Twitter that the Cincinnati Bengals entered Monday night's stunning 27-17 win against the Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium intending to "put some big hits" on JuJu Smith-Schuster because some on the team "still harbored bad feelings" from Smith-Schuster's hit on former Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict that gave Burfict a concussion, and then mimicked his taunting of Burfict days later as he helped a teammate celebrate a touchdown.
Tuesday's tweet from The Athletic's Mark Kaboly:
Bell was quoted before his first-quarter hit that forced Smith-Schuster's fumble as saying Smith-Schuster's dancing on logos before games is "kind of disrespectful," and that thegoal should be to "go out there between the lines ... and hit him and let him know where he stands."
The Enquirer's Paul Daugherty wrote this early Tuesday about Bell, Smith-Schuster and Burfict:
The Bengals were better on defense than the Steelers. More physical, meaner, edgier. Vonn Bell busted JuJu Smith-Schuster with a perfectly legal jack-up in the 1st quarter. Schuster fumbled because of it, the Bengals recovered and the tone had been set. It was a different tone than what we’ve seen here since Vontaze Burfict inflicted wanton (and illegal) pain on stunned Steelers.
Antonio Brown, Smith-Schuster's teammate when Burfict was concussed in 2017, called it "karma" afterward. Burfict had knocked Brown out of the Steelers' 18-16 AFC Wild Card Playoff win against the Bengals in Jan. 2016. Brown missed the next game, but Burfict told ESPN that he thought Brown faked that injury.
Earlier this year, Pittsburgh radio host Colin Dunlap said he's "a firm believer" that Burfict's hit on Brown changed Brown's life.
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