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Bengals’ LB Vontaze Burfict facing possible suspension as league reviews tape

09 JANUARY 2016: Cincinnati Bengals' Vontaze Burfict (55)  celebrates after recovering a fumble against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second half of play in their NFL Wild Card Round game at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. (Photo by John Sommers II/Icon Sportswire)
John Sommers/Icon Sportswire

Though some expect Bengals’ LB Vontaze Burfict will only get a fine, the league is reviewing tape today and he could be suspended. The decision is expected to be made by the end of the day.

There were a few incidents in the game against the Patriots. In one, it appears that Burfict steps on RB LeGarrette Blount’s legs intentionally – or, at least, he’s being accused of doing it on purpose. Blount then gets up and shoves the LB, who flops in what appears to be an attempt to draw a flag on Blount.

The other incident involved TE Martellus Bennett. In the clip below, it’s clear that the LB takes a shot at Bennett’s knees as the ball flies high over his head.

Though he may not be suspended for either incident, his history may come into play. He has a long-standing reputation for taking cheap shots, as he was fined four times in 2015 alone and then suspended for three games to start this year for a helmet-to-helmet hit in the playoffs. That hit was Steelers’ WR Antonio Brown, and guard Ramon Foster was outspoken about what should be done after the hits in the Patriots game, even though he’s still on the Steelers and the Patriots are a rival team. He said:

“There’s no place for that, man. To continuously do it – one or two times, okay I get it, but every single time? A stake has to be driven into the ground on this guy and I’m not sure what they care about, touchdown celebrations or player safety, but something has to be done…If you look an inch or two inside, if he goes more on [Bennett], that guy’s out for the season or at least for a longer [period] of time. With the leg stomp on LeGarrette Blount, that guy has a wife and two kids. He’s trying to make his way in this league.”

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