December 7, 2017 9:54 am
Updated: December 29, 2017 1:11 pm

Rick Zamperin: NFL players can play the game but must respect each other

Tensions ran high on Monday Night Football after some nasty hits in a game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals.

AP Photo/Steven Senne

Pittsburgh Steelers safety Mike Mitchell has it right — to a point.

The 30-year-old veteran is calling for a “set guideline” when it comes to player suspensions in the NFL.

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Mitchell — who himself has been fined four times for dangerous hits and taunting — was referring to the Monday Night Football fiasco in which Pittsburgh’s JuJu Smith-Schuster and Cincinnati’s George Iloka were handed one-game suspensions for separate hits on opposing players.

Iloka’s ban has since been reduced to a fine.

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And don’t forget, New England’s Rob Gronkowksi was also suspended for a game for his late hit on Buffalo’s Tre-Davious White on Sunday.

I agree with Mitchell that the NFL has to do a much better job of determining what infractions are suspendable and let the players know the ramifications of such actions.

But he said, “I feel like I gotta ask a guy, hey, are you ready for me to hit you right now?”

I respect what he’s saying, but I think Mitchell is taking the issue a little too far.

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Why did Schuster have to practically decapitate Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict?

Why did Gronk drive his forearm into the back of White’s head?

Plain and simple, it comes down to respect for your opponent.

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