Saturday was a day the Bengals would rather forget as soon as possible.
Not only did they lose in about as gut-wrenching fashion as possible, but not they're getting blasted by media and fellow players for their actions during the game. We already know about Vontaze Burfict's questionable hit that led to his suspension, but he's also been accused of spitting on Steelers during the Wild Card loss.
Offensive guard David DeCastro told 93.7 FM's "The Fan" in Pittsburgh that Burfict spit on him during the game. It's easy to pile onto Burfict right now because of his string of dirty plays that have led to his suspension, so of course most people are going to believe DeCastro in this case, even if it isn't true.
But then again, he's not the only one accusing Bengals of disgracefully spitting on Steelers. Fellow offensive guard Ramon Foster not only confirmed Burfict spit on DeCastro, but said he wasn't the only Bengals player to do it.
"He wasn’t the only guy," Foster said, via CBS Pittsburgh. "I will say that he had another culprit out there with him."
Spitting on an opponent in any sport is a disgrace and is widely frowned upon. You rarely hear about players spitting on others during games these days, so it's not like this is a common allegation to make.
"It’s uncommon," Foster said. "And I think it’s a huge deal. Spitting on somebody is a huge offense. You take that as a sign of major disrespect. I don’t care what venue you’re in – basketball, football, hockey, or you’re at your neighborhood bar – spitting on somebody is unacceptable."
At this point, even the most Bengal-centric fans have to at least think this may have happened with as ugly and chippy as Saturday got. And while the Steelers committed plenty of egregious acts of their own, the Bengals let them get under their skin and cracked when it mattered most.
Foster even said that the rivalry between these two teams needs to be boiled down as it's getting way out of hand for both teams.
"It can’t continue to be that way," Foster said. "The guys that are playing on both sides have got to try to figure something out to where it’s got to be about the game of football, and not the extracurricular stuff, not the extra-verbal stuff. It’s a lot of stuff that [has gone] on, now, I’d say, in the last four or five times we’ve played that can’t continue to go on."
None of the Bengals to this point have mentioned spitting or acknowledged Foster and DeCastro's claims, Still, the NFL may lay the hammer down on players if they find enough proof this happened as it's simply unacceptable to spit on another person.
And with Burfict facing a three-game suspension, the last thing he can afford right now is for the NFL to find proof he spit on players. That would be very damaging to his appeal of a three-game suspension, and may even lead to another separate punishment.
That said, don't expect anything to come of this. Spitting on an opponent would be hard to prove, and while we've occasionally seen accusations of spitting incidents (most notably Ray Rice), nothing ever comes of it.