If you think back to the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals AFC Wild Card game last Saturday night, before Ryan Shazier delivered a hit on Giovani Bernard which gave the running back a concussion, it was business as usual. There was the normal Pittsburgh vs. Cincinnati jawing and pushing and shoving, but nothing was abnormal until the hit which caused a fumble was delivered and not flagged.
Paul Brown Stadium went into a frenzy and from there the game went from intense to insane with a rabid energy between the two teams. As things finally start to die down between the two fan bases, the news of Shazier not being fined for the hit will certainly raise some eyebrows in Cincinnati.
No fine yet for Ryan Shazier. Says he keeps checking his locker for a letter from the league but so far nothing. And he's relieved.— Will Graves (@WillGravesAP) January 14, 2016
The second year linebacker spoke to media talking about how he was relieved he didn't get fined. He gave his justification of the hit to Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Shazier justified hit, saying that w/ athletic men that can quickly turn their body in a moment, it's impossible to avoid contact sometimes— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) January 14, 2016
Regardless of your feelings towards the play, Shazier brings up a valid point. When you have grown men running at the speeds they are, it is difficult to always hit a player in the strike zone, not to mention a player as small as Bernard. Nonetheless, although he still could get news from the league office of a fine, it looks as if Shazier's play was deemed clean, which will certainly ignite another round of hatred from Bengals fans.