Steelers Safety Damontae Kazee Suspended Three Games for Violent Hit on Colts’ Pittman Jr.

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Damontae Kazee
Damontae Kazee (Credits: NFL)

Steelers safety Damontae Kazee has received a three-game suspension without pay, including potential playoff games, following his ejection for a hard hit on Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. The NFL announced the suspension, citing Kazee’s repeated violations of rules aimed at safeguarding player health and safety.

NFL Vice President of Football Operations Jon Runyan issued the suspension based on a rule violation that deems it a foul if a player forcibly hits a defenseless player’s head or neck area. In a letter to Kazee, Runyan emphasized that the safety had an “unobstructed path” to Pittman, and the illegal contact could have been avoided.

Damontae Kazee
Damontae Kazee (Credits: NFL)

The incident occurred in the second quarter, leading to Kazee’s disqualification from the game. Coach Mike Tomlin defended Kazee, stating that he is not a “dirty player” and attributing the unfortunate outcome to the challenges of professional football. Tomlin acknowledged the league’s emphasis on the defender’s responsibility in such situations.

Kazee, who has a history of fines totaling $59,030 for various unnecessary roughness violations this season, faces a suspension that will cost him approximately $208,000 in salary. Runyan’s letter highlighted Kazee’s repeat offender status as a factor in the decision, emphasizing the need for substantial penalties when player safety rules are repeatedly violated.

Retired quarterback Tom Brady weighed in on Instagram, expressing his discontent with the blame placed on defensive players and urging better decision-making by quarterbacks to avoid such hits. Colts assistant secondary coach Mike Mitchell also voiced frustration, suggesting that playing deep safety in today’s NFL, where rules are influenced by those with limited playing experience, is challenging.

Kazee has the option to appeal the suspension under the collective bargaining agreement. If he chooses to appeal, hearing officers Derrick Brooks or James Thrash, jointly appointed by the NFL and the players’ association, would review the case.

As a consequence of the hit, Pittman entered the concussion protocol and did not return to the game. Additionally, the Steelers lost safety Minkah Fitzpatrick to a knee injury on the following play, ruling him out for the upcoming game against the Cincinnati Bengals.


By Richard

All in one crazy for sports, especially baseball.

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