Bengals upset NFL didn't discipline Steelers for threatening Burfict
Things got chippy in the Steelers-Bengals game well before kickoff, and continued for most of the next three hours.
Things got chippy in the Steelers-Bengals game well before kickoff, and continued for most of the next three hours. But the gum-flapping, pushing and shoving dates back to last month when Steelers linebacker Vince Williams took issue with Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict's gleeful celebration following a tackle on running back Le'Veon Bell that ended Bell's season.
Williams actually threatened Burfict on Twitter, and it's why Burfict confronted Williams before Sunday's game. Predictably, tempers flared:
"It's Bengals week!" - Steelers legend Bill Cowher watching apparent pregame scuffle between CIN and PIT pic.twitter.com/LDkd1iwSW8— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) December 13, 2015
Pre game scuffle here at the Bengals v. Steelers game pic.twitter.com/iunyOYKcj4— Ryan The Giant (@Ryan_The_Giant) December 13, 2015
And after the game -- the Steelers won 33-20 and the Bengals lost Andy Dalton for the near future -- Cincinnati left tackle Andrew Whitworth told ProFootballTalk.com's Mike Florio that the team was frustrated that the NFL didn't discipline Williams after he publicly threatened Burfict.
Whitworth expressed frustration about the league’s failure to take action, raising concerns about the potential consequences of death threats made by NFL players against other NFL players -- especially if fans see those threats and decide either to make threats of their own, or to act on them.
He’s right, and Williams’ behavior seems to constitute a violation of the plain terms of Personal Conduct Policy, which prohibits “[a]ctual or threatened physical violence against another person.”
It's unclear if the NFL has any plans to do anything about either Williams' initial threat or Sunday's pregame scrum. Either way, the Steelers will likely need to win the rest of their regular-season game to make the playoffs, while the Bengals are hoping Dalton can return by January to help the team to its first postseason win in the Marvin Lewis era.
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