One thing is for certain, safety Damontae Kazee will not be seen on a football field for the remainder of the current NFL season after being suspended by the league for “repeated violations.”
According to NFL.com, NFL Vice President of Football Operations, Jon Runyan has suspended the Pittsburgh Steelers player on Monday for the rest of the season, including the playoffs if the Steelers can make it that far. This decision was made after Kazee knocked out Indianapolis Colts receiver Michael Pittman Jr. in the second quarter of Saturday’s game, Dec. 16. Kazee delivered a tremendous, impactful hit after Pittman dived to try to catch a football and was hit in the head and neck area by the Steelers safety.
Of course you eject Damontae Kazee for this hit.
Michael Pittman Jr. doesn’t deserve a brain injury – or spine – for trying to make a great catch. (He got a #concussion)
It’s a new day in sports. These are human beings first.
We can adjust how we play. pic.twitter.com/agYEGM5khw
— Chris Nowinski, Ph.D. (@ChrisNowinski1) December 16, 2023
The penalty was implemented due to Kazee’s repeated violations of on-field health and safety rules, according to Runyan.
In a letter sent to the player, it stated, “With 8:49 remaining in the (second) quarter, you were involved in a play that the (league) considers a serious violation of the playing rules. The video of the play shows that you delivered a forcible blow to the head/neck area of Colts’ receiver Michael Pittman Jr., who was in a defenseless posture. You had an unobstructed path to your opponent and the illegal contact could have been avoided. Your actions were flagrant, and as a result, you were disqualified from the game.”
“When players violate the rules intended to protect player safety on a repeated basis, and particularly when the violations carry with them a significant risk of injury to an opposing player, it is appropriate to impose substantially greater penalties.”
This ruling means that Kazee will miss the Steelers remaining three games as they fight to try to get into playoff position.
The Associated Press reported that the seven-year veteran has been fined almost a half-dozen times this season alone. The game he will miss will cost him around $208,000 in salary.
The Steelers ended up losing the game 30-13.