Justin K. Aller/Getty ImagesBengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict, no stranger to unpaid time off, is has received a five-game suspension for a dirty hit laid on Chiefs fullback Anthony Sherman in a preseason game earlier this month.
The suspension would be for violating a newly installed NFL rule offering “defenseless player” protection to receivers running routes; Burfict intends to appeal.
Five games would be the longest suspension for a single on-field incident since Albert Haynesworth got a five-game ban for stomping on the face of Andre Gurode in October 2006.
(Jonathan Vilma and Anthony Hargrove were initially suspended for longer for their roles in the Saints’ bounty program, though those suspensions were overturned on appeal.)
Remember, Burfict was suspended the first three games of last season for what was nebulously described as “repeated violations of player safety rules,” so every ban from here out can be considered as a sort of lifetime achievement award.
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- Vontaze Burfict's five-game suspension: Was hit actually legal?ESPN (blog)
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- Vontaze Burfict's suspension will be resolved by independent hearing officerNBCSports.com
- Sources: Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict facing five-game suspension for illegal hitABC News
- Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict Faces Five-Game Suspension For Illegal Hit vs. ChiefsYahoo Sports
- Vontaze Burfict reportedly facing 5-game suspension for illegal hitCBSSports.com
- Bengals' Vontaze Burfict facing 5-game suspensionNFL.com