The Pittsburgh Steelers were not pleased with the hit Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict delivered to Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown on Sunday, and Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger reportedly said that Burfict threatened to put a similar hit on another Steelers wide receiver.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Roethlisberger said that on the play immediately following the hit on Brown Burfict indicated he would do the same thing to JuJu Smith-Schuster.
“He hits A.B., then, literally, as I am under center for the next play, he points at JuJu and says, ‘You’re next,’ ” Roethlisberger said, per the Post-Gazette. “How do you allow that stuff?”
No audio is available to confirm what Burfict said, but video shows Burfict twice gesturing toward Smith-Schuster just before the snap.
Smith-Schuster is the player who delivered the vicious hit on Burfict last season. It resulted in a one-game suspension for Smith-Schuster and caused Burfict to miss the next two games.
Roethlisberger said he tried to talk to Burfict during the game – without success.
“After I did the quarterback sneak that they called back, he got in my face. I said, ‘Hey, listen, it’s good to have you back out here (after Burfict’s four-game suspension).’ He got all feisty and wanted to fight,” Roethlisberger said. “I told him that my wife was praying for him. He didn’t like that, either. He doesn’t like anything.”
The Bengals and Steelers meet again in the final regular-season game of the year.