Vontaze Burfict reportedly facing 5-game suspension for illegal hit

Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict is facing a five-game suspension for an illegal hit to Chiefs fullback Anthony Sherman during a Week 2 preseason game, reports ESPN's Adam Schefter. Specifically, Burfict's guilty of hitting a player in a defenseless position, which is a new rule instituted this season to protect players who otherwise can't protect themselves.

Here's the hit in question (You can see Burfict, No. 55, near the bottom right of the screen take out Sherman):

Burfict will appeal the suspension, according to Schefter.

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.

Burfict has also been accused of dirty hits against Ravens tight end Maxx Williams, former 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.

"If it's a large fine and not games they don't have any guts," Pereira told the Cincinnati Enquirer at the time. "I mean, the guy was suspended for the first three games of the season. So you pile on, you pile on punishment when you look at history, and he has history dating all the way back to college for God's sakes. Obviously it doesn't apply in the NFL, but I don't see how they can do anything but suspend him because it was not a football act. He didn't lead with the helmet trying to break up a pass. He didn't do that. This was just a dead, you know, cheap, intentional cheap shot. So to me, I'm like shocked if the NFL doesn't maintain some leverage here and get rid of him for another couple of games."

And now, 10 months later, Burfict could get finally that suspension.

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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