Cincinnati Bengals: Vontaze Burfict Ready for Season Debut

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Jan 3, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals outside linebacker Vontaze Burfict (55) against the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium. The bengals won 24-16. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 3, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals outside linebacker Vontaze Burfict (55) against the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium. The bengals won 24-16. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
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Vontaze Burfict was suspended due to his “history” of hits on players. After serving his three-game suspension, he is ready to get back on the field to help this Bengals defense.

The Cincinnati Bengals are 1-2 after two difficult losses, both being marred by NFL officials decisions and excuses, and yes, some terrible play.  The Bengals are three games into the season, but I don’t think it is time to hit the panic button with a couple key players on their way back.

Vontaze Burfict is finally free of Roger Goodell’s three-game suspension and is ready to step in and provide a physical and emotional boost to the Bengals. Although his play will be watched, analyzed, and targeted, Burfict is the emotional boost this team needs to turn this early season around.

Burfict is one of the leading tacklers on the Bengals year in and year out, when healthy. He had a combined 298 tackles between 2012 and 13 seasons, which were his two healthy seasons, participating in all 32 games. He was injured in both 2014 and ’15 but still racked up a combined 103 tackles in 15 games played.

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As previously stated,  Burfict’s play will be highly watched and scrutinized. He will need to adjust his attack zone. It means going lower, which could result in lower body injuries, right Le’Veon Bell.

However, the officials and the NFL must better define the rule. This is especially the case when the situation becomes unavoidable due to an offensive player lowering himself into a vulnerable position. The rules are stacked against defenses and benefits the offense in a pass first league.

No matter what the NFL thinks, Burfict will be a welcome sight to most Bengals fans after suffering three weeks of un-Bengals-like football. The defense will need to tighten up and the pass rush will need to get quicker. He will bring speed and good vision back to a linebacker core that has been underperforming, with the exception of Karlos Dansby.

Next: Bengals: Officials Are Biggest Problem

If the Bengals can get back on track on Thursday against the Dolphins, Bengals fans will be able to breathe easy with the knowledge that Eifert is on his way as well. It will be up to the defense to make a few key stops and Burfict is the perfect player to lead them.

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