Vontaze Burfict has been suspended without pay for the first three games of the 2016 season for repeated violations of safety-related playing rules, the NFL announced. Burfict, of course, drilled Antonio Brown late in Saturday’s AFC Wild Card playoff game against the Steelers.
Burfict, a talented linebacker, has a long history of dirty plays on his resume. His late-game hit against Brown across the middle of the field, however, drew the ire of football fans everywhere and a suspension seemed to be inevitable. His agent says that he will be appealing the decision, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Burfict has three days to formally file his appeal.
Burfict has previously been fined for safety-related violations four times in 2015, including a $50K fine for unnecessarily contacting an opponent who was out of the play in Cincinnati’s Week 17 game against the Ravens. That play, which can be viewed here, saw Maxx Williams run a route in the end zone and get drilled, even though the ball was nowhere near him.
Thanks to his concussion, Brown’s status is very much in jeopardy for the Steelers’ Sunday showdown against the Broncos.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.