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.
"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.