Steelers Damontae Kazee ejected after violent blow concusses Colts WR Michael Pittman Jr.

Following a disheartening loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 13, the Indianapolis Colts sought redemption in a crucial showdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers. As the night unfolded, it presented a perfect opportunity for the Colts to bounce back and reclaim their winning form, yet it came at the cost of their veteran receiver Michael Pittman Jr.’s gruesome injury.

The injury was none but the result of the Steelers’ Damontae Kazee’s hard hit, which saw him and his team witness a perfect answer from the league due to his unsportsmanlike behavior on the field.

Damontae Kazee was ejected for the tackle on Michael Pittman Jr

With 8:42 remaining in the second quarter, Colts quarterback Gardner Minshew targeted Michael Pittman Jr. with a deep pass. Kazee’s aggressive hit on the defenseless Pittman drew immediate attention from the referees. It resulted in a penalty for unnecessary roughness and Kazee’s ejection from the game.

While defensive players might argue that Kazee had limited options in that split-second decision, the officials deemed the hit rough enough to warrant an ejection. Although Kazee appeared to lead with his shoulder rather than his helmet, the combination of Pittman’s defenseless position and the force of the hit led to the 15-yard penalty and the safety’s removal from the game.

Post-game, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, who was recently bashed by a Super Bowl-winning quarterback, expressed skepticism regarding the ejection, hinting that the decision might have come from the league’s officiating department in New York, which remotely monitors every game. Despite Kazee’s solid performance with five tackles (four solo) in the first half, his ejection added another layer of complexity to the Steelers’ challenges.

This incident marks Kazee’s second ejection in his career, the first occurring in 2018 when he was playing for the Atlanta Falcons and delivered a helmet-to-helmet hit on Cam Newton.

As of now, no official fines have been declared for Kazee, leaving the Steelers in suspense. If fines are imposed, it could reignite attention on the team’s recent dealings with fines, including the rescinding of Jaylen Warren’s penalties. The Steelers, grappling with frustrations voiced by player Minkah Fitzpatrick over perceived lackluster efforts, face both on-field and off-field challenges, contributing to the hardship that has shadowed the team’s performances this season.

Michael Pittman Jr. injury update

The impact of the hit left Michael Pittman Jr. sprawled on the field, prompting immediate attention from team medical personnel. After a few tense moments, Pittman exhibited resilience, managing to walk off the field under his own power.

Nevertheless, the repercussions of the hit became evident as he was ruled out with a concussion before the conclusion of the second quarter. Pittman’s teammates, along with players from both teams, showed solidarity by taking knees as trainers attended to the fallen receiver.

The concussion diagnosis nonetheless prompted his early exit from the game, leaving the Colts without one of their key offensive weapons.

After the Colts’ win, the player shared an encouraging update in an X post.

Prior to leaving the game, Pittman’s dedication to the game was evident before the injury, as he surpassed the 1,000-yard mark for the season with four receptions for 78 yards. This achievement marked the second time in his career that the receiver had achieved this milestone.

As the Colts forge ahead, the focus now shifts to Michael Pittman Jr.’s recovery and his potential status for Week 16. With the likelihood of entering the concussion protocol, the talented wide receiver’s availability for the upcoming road game against the Atlanta Falcons remains uncertain. 

Shabiha Akter

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Shabiha, once a casual observer, has morphed into a die-hard NFL fan. She carefully dissects every play, trade, and strategy. Whether it's breaking down game highlights or predicting playoff outcomes, Shabiha is your go-to source for all things NFL.


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