Burfict, who can’t stay out of trouble, is facing a five-game suspension for an illegal hit on Kansas City Chiefs fullback Anthony Sherman in a preseason game on Aug. 19, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. With anyone else you might be surprised that a player who has such a lengthy history of getting in trouble for cheap shots would avoid an illegal hit in a preseason game, but Burfict is the same player who dove at the knees of teammate Giovani Bernard in practice. It was Bernard’s first contact drill after ACL surgery.
Burfict’s most infamous dirty hit was a helmet-to-helmet hit against Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Antonio Brown late in a playoff game two seasons ago. That helped cost the Bengals a long-awaited playoff win. It also cost Burfict a three-game suspension.
Burfict leveled Sherman when Sherman wasn’t looking on a passing play deep downfield.Sherman was barely past the line of scrimmage. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith had just released the ball when Burfict hit Sherman for no reason. You can see it near the line (Burfict is No. 55):
Man, you can't ask for a better throw than this. Alex has looked good throwing the ball down the field this preseason in a small sample size pic.twitter.com/dH37s6a03d
— Seth Keysor (@RealMNchiefsfan) August 20, 2017
Burfict clearly takes his reputation as the dirtiest player in the NFL very seriously. The Bengals put out a statement, via Katherine Terrell of ESPN.com:
“The Bengals are aware of the NFL’s letter to Vontaze regarding a play in last weekend’s game. The film shows that the hit was legal, that Vontaze engaged his opponent from the front, and that contact was shoulder-to-chest. The Club will support Vontaze in the appeal process.”
Burfict will appeal the suspension, which is a long one because he is a repeat offender. He has an appeal hearing with the NFL next week, Schefter said. If the suspension stands, Schefter reported it will cost $882,353 in lost game checks. It’s a big blow to the Bengals. It will be another big blow when Burfict returns and does something similar to another defenseless opponent. He just can’t help himself.
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