NFL suspends Steelers S Damontae Kazee for remainder of season following hit on Colts WR Michael Pittman Jr.

The NFL suspended Pittsburgh Steelers safety Damontae Kazee on Monday for the remainder of the season and any potential postseason games following a hit in Saturday’s loss to Indianapolis that knocked out Colts receiver Michael Pittman Jr.

Kazee was ejected in the second quarter of Saturday’s game after a vicious hit in which the safety launched himself into the head/neck area of a diving Pittman.

NFL Vice President of Football Operations Jon Runyan issued the suspension and cited Kazee’s repeated violations of on-field health and safety rules.

“With 8:49 remaining in the 2nd quarter, you were involved in a play that the League considers a serious violation of the playing rules,” Runyan wrote in a letter to Kazee regarding the suspension. “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.”

Added Runyan: “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.”

Kazee has appeared in all 14 games for the Steelers this season, including nine starts. He has generated 61 tackles, two interceptions, and two fumble recoveries. The safety is slated to miss regular-season games against the Bengals, Seahawks, and Ravens before any potential playoff absence.

Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Kazee has the right to appeal the suspension. Earlier this season, Denver Broncos safety Kareem Jackson had his first suspension of the season reduced from four to two games.

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