Vontaze Burfict facing another suspension in 2018

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 6: Vontaze Burfict
CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 6: Vontaze Burfict /

The Cincinnati Bengals might be without Vontaze Burfict for the start of the 2018 season as he’s facing a four-game suspension.

Adam Schefter reported Friday afternoon that Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict is facing a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s Performance-enhancing drugs policy. Schefter also reported that the medication could have been prescribed medication for two injuries that happened late in the 2017 season including a concussion and shoulder injury.

"Burfict’s appeal will center around the fact that he was on prescribed medication for the concussion he suffered on a hit from Steelers’ wide receiver Ju-Ju Smith Schuster on Dec. 4 as well as the fact that he suffered a Grade 3 shoulder AC sprain during the Detroit Lions game on Dec. 24 and was on prescribed medications for this injury as well, per another source."

This would be the first time Burfict has been suspended for off the field actions. Both of his previous suspensions were for in-game hits. Burfict was suspended five games at the beginning of the 2017 season for a hit on Kansas City Chiefs fullback Anthony Sherman in the preseason. The suspension was reduced to three games at the beginning of the season. His other suspension was for his hit on Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown that helped lose the playoff game for the Bengals in the 2015 season.

The concussion that Burfict sustained in 2017 was a result of wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster absolutely leveling Burfict when he went to make a play on Steelers running back LeVeon Bell. The irony that a dirty hit performed on Burfict could be the reason for receiving another possible suspension is a story of its own.

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This would also be the first suspension that effected Burfict’s wallet as well. If he does end up receiving the suspension, it will be the fourth time that the veteran linebacker would miss the start of a season due to injuries or suspension, three of which are suspensions. After signing a hefty contract last offseason, it’s obvious why the Bengals decided to work out an incentive-based contract considering Burfict has missed 28 regular season games since 2014.