Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict is no stranger to on-field controversy and it didn't take long for him to get involved in one on Sunday, in what was his first game of the 2015 season.
After missing the first six weeks of the season rehabbing from microfracture surgery, Burfict returned against the Steelers and made one of the biggest tackles of the day: The Bengals linebacker was responsible for the hit on Le'Veon Bell that knocked Bell out of the game and likely ended his season.
Le'Veon Bell exited today's game after injuring his leg on this play. #CINvsPIT https://t.co/zNkbbwsenY— NFL (@NFL) November 1, 2015
Although the hit looked clean, Steelers offensive lineman Ramon Foster isn't so sure that's the case. After Cincinnati's 16-10 win, Foster said that he felt the Bengals were 'aiming' to injure Steelers players during the game.
"I am sure they were aiming to take somebody out today and kudos to them, they did the job," Foster said, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Foster didn't stop there though. The lineman also made it clear that he was angry with Burfict for allegedly celebrating the injury.
"He's that type of guy. That type of guy gets his sooner or later. So, wait and see, I guess. He's that type of guy, period," Foster said of Burfict. "If you're on the field with him, you know what I mean by that. They'll play it off; he'll act dumb about it. But you don't run across the field hyped, celebrating, jumping up and down when a guy goes down like that."
Another Steelers offensive lineman, Marcus Gilbert, called Burfict's celebration, "Bull sh-t."
As for Burfict, the Bengals linebacker says he wasn't celebrating anything and even called Bell a "good friend."
“He's a good friend of mine. I didn't mean to hurt him," Burfict said. "But it's football, you get hurt sometimes. I told some of his teammates it wasn't intentional. Hopefully he's going to come back stronger."
If Steelers players are suspicious of Burfict, it could have to do with his prior history. In October 2014, the Bengals linebacker was fined $25,000 for twisting the ankles of Panthers tight end Greg Olsen and quarterback Cam Newton during a game.
Olsen even said that Burfict should've been suspended for the transgression. The NFL didn't agree and Burfict wasn't suspended.