Steelers & Bengals Get Warning from NFL
According to Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman, a source said the NFL warned both teams against mixing it up prior to their AFC Wild Card clash Saturday night
We all know just how serious NFL rivalries can get, but arguably no on-field beef this season was as real as that between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals. Now, with the two teams set to face-off for an AFC Wild Card matchup, the NFL has reportedly issue a fair warning.
The issues between the Steelers and Bengals this season actually go far deeper than the Week 14 incident. In fact, they started in Week 8 when Steelers superstar running back Le’Veon Bell was lost for the year with a knee injury.
And so it began….
“All I want for Christmas is the Bengals. Would love to see them in the playoffs where they choke. The talking is done between the lines,” Marcus Gilbert said in a since-deleted tweet.
Gilbert and the Steelers have gotten their wish after qualifying for the playoffs in Week 17 by virtue of a win over the Cleveland Browns as well as the New York Jets’ loss to the Buffalo Bills.
There is bound to be some chippiness during Saturday’s game since the two teams dislike each other and there is so much on the line, but the league is hoping to confine it to the game itself.
The officials figure to have a major challenge on their hands; however, both the Steelers and Bengals would be wise to keep their emotions in check rather than potentially risk a major blow such as a penalty at an inopportune time or an ejection in such a massive game.
Bleacher Report reports that the league is wary of what could occur between the AFC North rivals when they meet, and in an effort to prevent any non-football activity the league has advised against any “pregame nonsense.” Bleacher Report also says that outside of the specific warning to the Bengals and Steelers, an overall message was sent to all teams advising proper conduct.
Things got heated between the teams after Steelers Runningback LeVeon Bell suffered a season ending knee injury during the Steelers’ and Bengals’ first matchup in week 18. The teams met again during week 14, when tensions boiled prior to the ball even being kicked-off. That same game resulted in a total of $147,000 worth of fines being handed down to players from both teams. Words were later exchanged between players via Twitter, and both teams seemed to agree on one thing: meeting each other again this January.
While the teams got their wish to battle it out once more, players and coaches from both sides have assured that they don’t plan on doing anything that could cost their team a Wild Card win. What do you think, was this a necessary move by the league?
Sources: Bleacher Report