If you watched the Bengals/Ravens game on Sunday and noticed a sudden decline in Cincinnati's defense by late in the game, you weren't going crazy. Through almost three quarters, the Bengals were pitching a shutout and had been frustrating Baltimore's offense most of the day. Then, on one of a few hits on quarterback Joe Flacco, Pro Bowl linebacker Vontaze Burfict came up woozy.
Initially, most figured that it was one of those types of Burfict nicks and we would see him trot back on the field a couple of plays later. Unfortunately, he was taken to the locker room and didn't return, after being diagnosed with a concussion.
Like with Tyler Eifert's injury word had been quiet on Burfict's status early this week and his ability to play on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. Marvin Lewis gave the local media a quasi-update about the status of No. 55 on Wednesday:
Obviously, the next few days are critical for Burfict, to determine whether he will suit up on Sunday. Concussions are obviously tricky things--some players are only affected for days, while others are for weeks or months. The protocols on the diagnosis and proper treatment of concussions can be read on this NFL document.
We've seen Burfict come back and play the next Sunday after suffering what sounded like a bad ankle sprain/twist late last year before the game in San Diego, but this could be a different story. We'll update as we know more, but the Bengals have been playing things close to the vest with injuries in 2014.