Vonn Bell had a message for JuJu Smith-Schuster prior to Monday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Cincinnati Bengals safety has seen Smith-Schuster dancing on opponents’ field logos in pregame warmups — a practice the Steelers receiver shared again with his Tik Tok followers on Monday.
Bell’s not a fan of the routine.
“It’s kind of disrespectful at the end of the day,” Bell told reporters earlier this week on a video conference. “But they’re on top right now so you can’t really say nothing right now. We just gotta go out there, between the lines, go out there and hit him and let him know where he stands.”
In the first quarter Monday night, he got a chance to follow through on the message. And he delivered.
Bell’s message comes through loud and clear
Ben Roethlisberger hit Smith-Schuster on a crossing route near midfield on a third-down pass. Bell was waiting for him. As soon as Smith-Schuster caught the ball, he turned upfield where he was met by Bell.
Bell immediately walloped the Steelers receiver, sending the football flying down the field. Officials initially ruled the play an incomplete pass. The Bengals challenged, and officials correctly ruled that Smith-Schuster had caught the ball and turned upfield.
The call was changed to a fumble, and the Bengals converted it into points with a Giovani Bernard touchdown run seven plays later to take a 10-0 lead over the division-leading Steelers. The play set the tone for Cincinnati’s 27-17 upset of its division rival.
The Bengals’ Twitter account seemed to take special delight in Smith-Schuster’s demise:
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) December 22, 2020
It all adds up to the kind of play that might compel Smith-Schuster to think twice about his pregame routine moving forward.
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