Did Vontaze Burfict intentionally knee Ben Roethlisberger in shoulder?

Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict is facing a suspension for his latest antics, which include an unnecessary roughness penalty for this hit on Antonio Brown that helped set up the Steelers' game-winning field goal in Saturday's wild-card game:

And as Internet sleuths continue to pore over the game footage, more images emerge, including this late third-quarter sack by Burfict on Ben Roethlisberger that forced the Steelers quarterback from the game with a shoulder injury. Watching live, it seemed like a perfectly legal tackle, and our thoughts didn't change after watching several replays. But some people think that Burfict can be seen kneeing Roethlisberger while still on top of him. Judge for yourself (.GIF via TBL):

It's stilll not clear to us that Burfict was giving Big Ben the business, particularly since the Bengals linebacker has shown no misgivings about committing his offenses in clear view of God and everybody.

Take, for example, Burfict laying out Ravens tight end Maxx Williams in Week 17 on a play that went to the other side of the field (keep your eye on the bottom left of the screen).

Of course, Roethlisberger may feel differently; he said after the team's Week 8 game that Burfict intentionally dove at his legs on this play:

Wherever the truth lies, Burfict, who is singlehandedly responsible for injuring the Steelers' three best players -- Brown, Roethlisberger and Le'Veon Bell -- could begin the 2016 season on the bench.

Meanwhile, the Steelers are preparing to face the Broncos in Sunday's AFC divisional matchup with Brown currently in the concussion protocol and Roethlisberger nursing a sprained shoulder.

Would Vontaze Burfict intentionally try to hurt Ben Roethlisberger? (CBS)
Would Vontaze Burfict intentionally try to hurt Ben Roethlisberger? (CBS)
CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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