The Steelers wide receiver pulled off the stunt in the third quarter of a 20-17 win Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis led the AFC North leaders 17-3 when the Steelers lined up for a first-and-goal play from the 7-yard-line.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger took the snap, faked a play-action hand off and stepped back in the pocket before scanning the defense. He then fired a pass to his rookie wideout on a cross pattern.
Smith-Schuster secured the score and stood in the end zone with his hands raised, dropped the ball and teammate Le'Veon Bell came up from behind and put his right arm around Smith-Schuster's neck in a choking motion. Bell and Smith-Schuster pretended to fight a bit before releasing.
The celebration was a slight at Green for his fight last Sunday against Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey. They tangled in a Bengals loss when Ramsey pushed Green and the Bengals wide receiver retaliated by choking the Jaguars cornerback. Green also threw several punches during the exchange. Both players were ejected from the Week 9 contest, but avoided league suspensions. Green was fined $42,000.
Although he likely didn't see Smith-Schuster and Bell's celebration live, Green did respond on the field Sunday. Moments after Smith-Schuster's score, Green erupted for a 70-yard touchdown against the Tennessee Titans. The Bengals still lost the contest 24-20 at Nissan Stadium in Nashville.
"RT if @L_Bell26 and I did it better...," Smith-Schuster tweeted Sunday night. That post has more than 27,000 retweets.
Bell was one of those retweets, including three 'fire' emojis.
"Everyone makes mistakes in their celebration too," Smith-Schuster told reporters after the game, according to ESPN. "Me and Le'Veon were going to do the A.J. Green and Jalen Ramsey. But within that, toward the end we were going to make it positive. We were going to shake hands, hold hands walking off of the field, come together. We messed up. We didn't really rehearse. You can't really rehearse what was really going on with that A.J. and Ramsey thing. But hey, we made a mistake...we'll get back to it and do better next week with celebrations."
JuJu Smith-Schuster with context to A.J. Green celebration, says they wanted a positive spin with after-choke handshake but execution poor. pic.twitter.com/Ss5zCk7lg7— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) November 12, 2017
Smith-Schuster, 20, has 521 yards and five touchdowns on 29 receptions this season. The Steelers and the Bengals face off in a Monday Night Football tilt at Cincinnati's Paul Brown Stadium Dec. 4.