Roethlisberger did say Smith-Schuster deserved to be fined for the play, though mostly because of how he taunted Burfict after the hit rather than for the collision itself.
Early in the game, Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier was stretchered off the field with no motion in his legs.
Seeing an opportunity to take a free shot at Burfict, Smith-Schuster stuck his helmet into Burfict's jaw on a block, then stood over Burfict when he was down and taunted the clearly injured man.
But Smith-Schuster made the situation a million times worse by standing over Burfict and taunting him.
There's not a set rule for what gets a player suspended.
The rookie apologized for his actions after the game, saying according to ESPN: "I didn't know it was Burfict at first". I should've never stood over him.More news: Cotto bows out of Boxing with loss to Ali
NFL Vice President of Football Operations JON RUNYAN issued the suspensions. "I can assess a judgment on the fact that he stood over him and that's not how we play and that's not reflective of the sportsman he is".
The Steelers will now prepare to play against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 14, while the Bengals will get ready for their game against the Chicago Bears.
If there's one thing to feel good about though, it's that even in the stark, brutal world of professional football - "AFC North football", to be more specific, as Ben Roethlisberger was after the game - the universe can still mete out its own cosmic justice. Smith-Schuster apologized in the locker room after the game, saying, "I was trying to get a big block for Le'Veon Bell for him to get upfield". The unsportsmanlike conduct is not me.
UPDATE: Smith-Schuster's suspension is now official.
As he did so, Pro Bowl Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown yelled the word "Karma" over and over in the background. The NFL said that hit showed clear intent to injure and took place after the play had ended.
"I'll acknowledge there were some unfortunate things in that game that we don't need in our game, by both sides", Tomlin said.