Water under the bridge.
That’s what Kansas City Chiefs WR JuJu Smith-Schuster had to say about Week 10, where he was knocked out of the game by a big hit from Jacksonville Jaguars S Andre Cisco. The big hit didn’t draw a penalty flag during the game, but Cisco was fined by the NFL after the fact, suggesting the play should have been penalized for unnecessary roughness. Smith-Schuster suffered a concussion and missed the ensuing game against the Chargers in Week 11 before making his return.
Asked whether he’d be looking for some sort of payback in the AFC divisional round, Smith-Schuster said that moment inspires nothing more than him and his teammates to play harder.
“Nah, nah, nah,” Smith-Schuster said. “I just play ball at the end of the day. I think everything is going to set up how it’s meant to be. I don’t think about the past. Like I said, I think (Andre) Cisco is a great player. He’s an aggressive guy, he plays hard, (and) he has his big hits. That just goes to say that I’ve got to play harder, you know. That’s just the respect for him and what he brings to the table and just what we have to bring to the table.”
Smith-Schuster revealed that after the game, Cisco reached out ot apologize for injuring him.
“Yeah, I got a DM from him,” Smith-Schuster said with a grin. “He slid in my DMs. He apologized. It’s all good and I appreciate it. He’s been in the league for some time. I know his game. He plays hard. He’s a good player, so there is nothing wrong with that.”
Smith-Schuster’s teammates and coaches were emotional about the hit by Cisco after the game. Andy Reid, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Patrick Mahomes all agreed there is no place for that type of thing in the game. Smith-Schuster doesn’t exactly think it’ll be on their mind too much this week when it comes to matching the physicality of the Jaguars’ defense.
“When someone goes down like that in my case, I mean you look around the league and it has been a tough subject,” Smith-Schuster said. “Players get hit and go down, everyone is going to be emotional. One of my very good family friends, (Dolphins QB) Tua (Tagovailoa), is going through a (similar) situation. For me, everyone around me was very emotional, but I guess just going into this game we’re just so pumped and ready. You know, we haven’t played ball for two weeks now. So, it’s just more so for us to go out there and just showcase for our fans.”