Update 10/19: Burfict was fined $75,000 by the league for the altercation with Blount, but the low hit on Bennett was not fined, as it is technically a legal hit. Burfict is appealing the fine, as he claims he did not step on Blount. In the (unscientific) poll at the bottom of this post, 8% though that the league would assess a fine more than $50,000 but less than $100,000. A majority, 64% of respondents, thought that Burfict would be suspended, most of them voting for a multigame suspension.
Our original post is below.
Vontaze Burfict is facing additional discipline after not one, but two questionable plays on Sunday. The Bengals linebacker is no stranger to controversial actions as he was suspended for the first three games of this season for repeated actions last season, culminating with a helmet hit last postseason. Burfict was also fined multiple times last season with a $50,000 fine preceding the suspension.
Burfict is one of only five players in NFL history to receive a multiple-game suspension for an on-field incident.
The first play occurred with about 11 minutes remaining in the game between the Bengals and the Patriots. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady threw a pass to Danny Amendola. As the pass went over Martellus Bennett’s head, Burfict delivered a low hit to the back of Bennett’s knees (video).
The second play took place with just over a minute left in the game. Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount ran in for a 1-yard score, and an unnecessary roughness foul in the ensuing scrum was charged to Blount. ESPN reporter Mike Reiss later tweeted out a clip from a coach’s film angle that appeared to show Burfict standing on Blount’s leg.
Video: From coaches film (courtesy NFL), watch Vontaze Burfict (55) deliberately step on Blount’s leg after TD. pic.twitter.com/wtTPqy3XHP
â€” Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) October 17, 2016
Burfict was not penalized for either play, but can likely expect a significant fine from the disciplinary arm of the NFL headed by Jon Runyan. A suspension is not likely, that type of discipline is generally handed down early in the week to allow for an expedited appeal and team roster decisions.