Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict was contemplating whether he'd have surgery to "further repair what wasn't fixed when he had surgery on Oct. 29." During an interview with the team's beat writers in Mobile, Alabama, head coach Marvin Lewis confirmed that Burfict has undergone a procedure and cautioned about rushing him back.
ML said Burfict elected for surgery and hopes he'll be back for season: "That’s the plan. You can’t be rushed. It has to heal."— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) January 21, 2015
After Cincinnati's 27-24 win over the Baltimore Ravens on Oct. 29, the team found "something floating in his knee". Burfict said that the injury happened in the first quarter, but thought it was only a bruise. Burfict underwent arthroscopic surgery on Oct. 27. The team announced that Burfict would miss a couple of weeks, but could have a shot against the New Orleans Saints. Burfict didn't play another down and was placed on season-ending injured reserve on Dec. 9, 2014.
"He has to work his tail off. He has to work harder now than he did to get here," Lewis said via Bengals.com. "Everyone in his inner circle has continued to reinforce that. He has to work harder now than he did to get here."
Following Cincinnati's playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts, defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said that he had been told Pro Bowl WILL linebacker Vontaze Burfict will recover from his knee issues by next season.
Durability was the core issue for Burfict in 2014, starting with concussions that forced him out during the regular season opener against Baltimore and the ensuing game against Atlanta. Burfict was given a three-week break by sitting out against the Titans and Patriots with a bye week between them. He returned against Carolina and finished second on the team with 10 tackles and first with two ankle tugs (c'mon, have a laugh). A cervical strain prematurely ended his game against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 7.
Burfict entered this season as the team's leading tackler from 2012 and 2013, when he totaled 204 stops, 94 more than the second-place finisher (Rey Maualuga). Burfict earned a roster spot on the Pro Bowl team and a second-team mention on the Associated Press All-Pro team. The Bengals signed Burfict to a contract extension (four-year, $19 million with $6.9 million guaranteed) on Aug. 27, 2014 keeping him in Cincinnati through 2017.