By Chris Roling
The elephant in the room Sunday between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals is the hit by the former’s JuJu Smith-Schuster on the latter’s Vontaze Burfict and the actions by the wideout in the following weeks.
Knowing this might come up on the field between the teams Sunday, reporters tried to ask Bengals coach Marvin Lewis about the taunt that got Smith-Schuster suspended and the mock celebration that followed a few weeks later:
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“No comment,” said head coach Marvin Lewis after Friday’s walk through.
What level of concern does Lewis have of Burfict seeking revenge or retaliation?
“No comment,” Lewis said.
That’s a fairly typical response from Lewis, though it might have sent a better message to his guys if he made a public statement on the matter.
Either way, it’s hard to imagine this will go unaddressed on the field. Burfict has had his fair share of dirty plays over the years, but Smith-Schuster concussed him on a blindside hit. Burfict probably wouldn’t have cared if it ended there, but the taunting and concussion-mocking celebration a few weeks later might have escalated...