The Steelers’ Damontae Kazee was suspended for the rest of the season due to the hit

The Steelers’ Damontae Kazee was suspended for the rest of the season due to the hit

PITTSBURGH — After being ejected for a hard hit on Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. on Saturday, Steelers safety Damontae Kazee has been suspended for the final three games of the regular season without pay for repeatedly violating rules meant to protect health, the NFL announced Monday. About player safety.

The commentary also includes any potential playoff games.

NFL vice president of football operations, John Runyan, issued the suspension for violating the rule that states it is a foul if a player “forcefully strikes a defenseless player’s head or neck area with the helmet, facemask, forearm, or shoulder, even if the mark Initial contact is made below the player’s neck, regardless of whether the defenseless player also uses his arms to tackle the defenseless player by surrounding or grabbing him.”

In a letter to Kazee, Runyan said the Steelers safety had an “unobstructed path” to Pittman and that “the illegal contact could have been avoided.”

“With 8:49 remaining in the second quarter, you were involved in a play that the league considers to be a serious violation of the playing rules,” Runyan wrote. “Video of the play shows that you delivered a hard blow to the head/neck area of ​​Colts receiver Michael Pittman Jr., who was in a defenseless position. You had an unobstructed path to your opponent and the illegal contact could have been avoided. Your actions “It was scandalous, and as a result you were excluded from the match.”

Coach Mike Tomlin said after the game that the ejection came from “New York,” and Tomlin said Monday that Kazee is not a “dirty player.”

“Normally I talk about lowering the target,” Tomlin said when asked what coaching points he gives for his safety. He added, “The goal was low and the two players were on their way out. It was unfortunate. I know he is not a dirty player. He does not aspire to do some of the things that have come to light under these circumstances.”

“Sometimes it comes down to professional football today, and how hard it is to work, but the NFL is very clear, man. They put the burden 100 percent on the defender in those circumstances. It’s unfortunate, but we understand that.” “

Kazee was previously fined five times for various unnecessary violations totaling $59,030 this season.

Runyan’s letter also cites Kazee’s status as a repeat offender as a contributing factor to the suspension, which will cost him approximately $208,000 of his salary.

“When players repeatedly violate rules intended to protect player safety, and especially when the violations carry a significant risk of injury to an opposing player, much greater penalties are appropriate,” Runyan wrote.

Under the collective bargaining agreement, Kazi is allowed to appeal the suspension. If he does so, Derrick Brooks or James Thrash, hearing officials appointed jointly by the NFL and the players’ union, will hear the appeal.

Pittman entered the concussion protocol after the injury and did not return to the game.

The Steelers lost safety Minkah Fitzpatrick to a knee injury the following game, and he was ruled out of Saturday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

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