Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster suspended one game, will not play Sunday vs. Ravens

Ravens beat writer Jeff Zrebiec talks about the one-game suspension of Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster for a violation of safety-related playing rules. (Kevin Richardson / Baltimore Sun video)

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a host of weapons that the Ravens will have to be ready for by Sunday night, but that group might not include an impressive rookie wide receiver.

JuJu Smith-Schuster, who scored a touchdown against the Ravens and had 47 receiving yards in the Steelers’ 26-9 victory at M&T Bank Stadium on Oct. 1, has been suspended for one game by the NFL for a violation of safety-related playing rules.


Smith-Schuster was disciplined for his high block on Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict in the Steelers’ comeback victory Monday night. After the block, Smith-Schuster stood over Burfict, who left the game on a cart and was immediately ruled out with a concussion.

The Ravens were 7-5 last year and riding a streak of four wins in five games. But the absence of Smith led to a defensive collapse. The Ravens hope history doesn't repeat itself.

In a letter to Smith-Schuster, NFL vice president of policy and rules administration Jon Runyan wrote: “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.”

Smith-Schuster lost his appeal, so the Steelers will face the Ravens without a receiver who has caught 37 balls for 585 yards and five touchdowns this season.

Bengals safety George Iloka was also suspended for one game for his high hit on Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown in the end zone.

In other Ravens news, they officially placed top cornerback Jimmy Smith, who sustained a season-ending tear of his left Achilles tendon in Sunday’s victory over the Detroit Lions, on injured reserve.

As Ravens coach John Harbaugh announced Monday, the team officially replaced him on the roster by promoting cornerback Stanley Jean-Baptiste from the practice squad.

Jean-Baptiste, a 2014 second-round draft pick of the New Orleans Saints, hasn’t played in an NFL regular-season game since his rookie season.

The Ravens replaced Jean-Baptiste on the practice squad by re-signing cornerback Robertson Daniel, who spent part of last season and this past summer in the organization.