Vontaze Burfict is well-known as a player that ... well, let's just say he plays most of the time right on the edge of dirty, and often crosses over that line as well. There's a reason he was suspended for the first three games of this season, after all.
Burfict, who is hyper-aggressive in his hits, and who knows that NFL rules discourage and nearly outlaw hits above the shoulders in almost all circumstances, told Bleacher Report last week that he believes the NFL is giving him no choice but to aim for the knees with his hits.
"Even though I think going low is a coward's way," Burfict said. "But without getting a flag, that's the good way to go about it. That's what the NFL is making it into. I'd rather hit a guy up high than mess a guy's knee up."
On Sunday against the New England Patriots, he did exactly that, only he did it in a context where he absolutely did not have to do so. He went straight at Martellus Bennett's knee on a throw that Bennett had no chance of catching, and which had yet to even arrive at the time of the hit.
It was a dirty hit, and the Patriots knew it was dirty. The teams started jawing later in the drive, with several penalty flags thrown after Rob Gronkowski started jawing at Burfict and Adam Jones after catching two passes over the middle.
On Monday, it was reported that the NFL is reviewing Burfict's hit on Bennett.
NFL reviewing Vontze Burfict low hit on Martellus Bennett, as is customary. A player's history can factor in to potential discipline.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 17, 2016
It's easy to say players should be given the benefit of the doubt, and maybe you can say Burfict was aiming for the thigh and not the knee, but given Burfict's history, that seems doubtful. A fine is probably coming his way later this week.