PITTSBURGH -- Seemingly intentional helmet-to-helmet shots are hard to justify, which is why Pittsburgh Steelers center Cody Wallace will pick up a fine (at least) for barreling into Broncos linebacker David Bruton Jr. in the first half of Sunday's 34-27 win, resulting in an unnecessary roughness penalty.
But context does seem necessary here. Beckham was retaliating all game long. Punches were flying well before the helmet launch. Wallace, in what seems like an isolated incident, flew late into a play after he thought Antonio Brown took a dirty shot from defensive end Malik Jackson.
And he's right. Check out the play -- Brown gets clobbered by Jackson when the play appears over, with Brown clearly tackled.
Wallace told Triblive.com after the game that he expects a fine.
"You know, their guy kind of took a shot at AB, so we really couldn't let that fly," Wallace said. "That's the way it's going to go. But that's not right."
It doesn't excuse Wallace's hit, but it does help explain it. And his teammates probably appreciate the gesture.