Not only did Vontaze Burfict cost the Bengals a spot in the AFC divisional playoffs with his head-hunting hit on Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown, he also set himself up for a possible NFL suspension.
The league will reportedly drop the hammer on Cincinnati’s linebacker for leveling Brown in the waning moments of Saturday’s 18-16 wild card loss, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, who cited Burfict’s status as a repeat offender as one of the reasons for the impending ban.
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Saturday’s foul, which led to an unnecessary roughness call and was soon followed by a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against Bengals teammate Adam “Pacman” Jones, was just the latest of Burfict’s many on-the-field transgressions.
Vontaze Burfict (r.) lowers his shoulder into Antonio Brown’s head.
The 6-1, 245-lb. Burfict was already fined $69,454 by the NFL for three penalties committed against the Steelers in Week 14, including a low hit on Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger.
He was also docked $25,000 in 2014 for twisting the ankles of Panthers players, while head hunting led to a pair of fines the previous year.
According to ESPN, Burfict has an NFL-high 14 unnecessary roughness penalties since 2012 – none more costly than Saturday’s hit on Brown.