Cincinnati Bengals inside linebacker Vontaze Burfict has been suspended for the first three games of the 2016 NFL schedule, according to an official statement from the NFL.
VONTAZE BURFICT of the Cincinnati Bengals has been suspended without pay for the first three games of the 2016 regular-season for repeated violations of safety-related playing rules.
Burfict’s most recent violation came with 22 seconds remaining in last Saturday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, when he was penalized for unnecessary roughness for using his shoulder to make forcible contact to the head and neck area of a defenseless receiver.
The suspension was imposed by NFL Vice President of Football Operations MERTON HANKS, who ruled that Burfict’s action placed his opponent at unnecessary risk of injury and should have been avoided. The suspension will take effect at the time of the final roster reduction prior to Week 1 of the 2016 regular-season.
Burfict has previously been fined for safety-related violations four times in 2015, including a $50,000 fine for unnecessarily contacting an opponent who was out of the play in Cincinnati’s Week 17 game against the Baltimore Ravens.
Here's the illegal hit by Burfict on Antonio Brown:
This hit played a part in the Bengals' epic collapse to the Steelers over the weekend. This, along with a 15-yard penalty from Adam Jones, set Pittsburgh up for an easy field goal which would allow them to easily win the game.
There's no doubt Burfict is a talented player but he has a reputation for being dirty.
Burfict reportedly plans to appeal his suspension.
This news could potentially impact the Eagles. Philadelphia is set to play the Bengals in Cincinnati in 2016. Next year's exact schedule won't be revealed until April or so.
My question for you: do you think the NFL's punishment here is fair?