Vontaze Burfict appears to kick Steelers player in the head while on ground

The Steelers have a history with Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict, one that was renewed Sunday when the two teams met in Pittsburgh. And it didn't take long before Burfict, who was suspended for the first three games of the regular season for a dirty hit against the Chiefs during the preseason, made his presence known by using Steelers fullback Roosevelt Nix's head as a trampoline:

We're not sure Burfict's two-footed move rises to the level of a kick, but a) Le'Veon Bell is not impressed and b) the league will be the final arbiter of exactly what happened. 

The Bengals linebacker has a long history of questionable play, including a helmet-to-helmet hit on Antonio Brown during a 2016 playoff game against the Steelers. That played a part in the league's decision to suspend Burfict for the first three games of the 2016 season. He has also been accused of dirty hits against Ravens tight end Maxx Williamsformer Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett, and former Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount.

Burfict's actions against Bennett and Blount in an October 2016 game led former NFL head of officials Mike Pereira to say that anything short of a(nother) suspension would be unacceptable.

Regarding Burfict's most recent offense, ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert writes that "NFL rules allow for an unsportsmanlike conduct call for kicking an opponent, 'even if no contact is made.'" A flag wasn't thrown, however. Nix told ESPN.com's Jeremy Fowler that he felt Burfict's feet hit his helmet but the official told him he didn't see it.

Burfict won't be so lucky when the league office reviews the tape. Now the question becomes if he'll be suspended for the third time in his career and the second time this season, which isn't even two months old.

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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