It was a game marred with concussions and serious injuries. The Steelers versus Bengals Monday night showdown was one of the most violent football games in some time. Several players left due to concussions including Vontaze Burfict and Joe Mixon. To top it all off, Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier suffered what could be a career threatening spinal injury. It got so bad, the NFL ended up handing out a pair of one game suspensions to JuJu-Smith Schuster and George Iloka.
It’s at this point where Steelers safety Mike Mitchell decided to go on a rant against the NFL for what he thought was unjust suspensions. https://youtu.be/hQmhCGuC0wU . After watching his own team mate severely injured and several other players concussed, this is the time he chooses to rail about letting players play? After this over the top, violent game he decides this is the time to rant about not being able to hit like players used to? This should come as no surprise coming from a player who routinely plays out of control. A player who regularly misses tackles because he’s to concerned about the “big hit”.
Nobody would ever question Mike Mitchell’s toughness or physicality on the football field. This rant though was put out in the same tone deaf way that he plays the game of football. Players now are too big, and too fast to be allowed to play the way they did in the 80’s. The league can’t allow head shots on defenseless receivers whether or not Mike Mitchell thinks it’s fair. This was not the time when his team mate is lying in a hospital bed from a violent football play, to say “let’s take the pads off and play flag football”.
Most NFL fans long for the days of Ronnie Lott blowing up players with his physical style. Now we know what the consequences of that kind of play bring. Former NFL players are suffering from CTE at an alarming rate. To combat this, the league has put more stringent rules on dangerous hits. Now we have players like Mike Mitchell railing about these rules. Players simply can’t have it both ways. They can’t complain the NFL doesn’t do enough to protect them, then be furious about the very rules put in place to protect them. With all the injuries from violent hits Monday night, maybe it would have been best for Mike Mitchell to say nothing at all.