Vontaze Burfict is one of the most hated players in football, especially in the eyes of the Steelers.
Between Burfict's tackle which inadvertently tore Le'Veon Bell's MCL and kept him out for the second half of the 2015 season, his concussion-inducing hit on Antonio Brown in the Wild Card game, and the shoulder injury Ben Roethlisberger suffered last year in that same game after a Burfict tackle, the Steelers despise even the mention of Burfict.
But that doesn’t mean Burfict isn’t still a human being with remorse, especially when it comes to that hit on Brown in the Wild Card game. It turns out, Burfict offered and in-person apology to Brown for the incident, which ended up sidelining the All-Pro receiver for the Divisional Round of the playoffs, a game Pittsburgh narrowly lost to the eventual Super bowl champion Denver Broncos.
The apology came this offseason when the two players met in Miami, per ESPN.
"[He was] just saying he didn't have no intentions of trying to injure, that it was a football move," Brown said of Burfict's apology, via ESPN. "You know, it's football. It's not intentional. Play the game long enough, you may take a shot or two. It's great to be able to bounce back and I'm excited to be in Cincinnati this weekend."
Brown certainly doesn’t sound like a guy who thinks Burfict really wanted to injure him, which is good to hear before the Bengals and Steelers face off this Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium.
"I don't have no issue with any guy. I'm a football player. I'm a competitor," Brown said. "When we're in the field, we're going to compete and be competitive. It's not personal between none of these guys. It's all in the game... I represent the Steelers. It's all business."
Let’s hope both teams are able to keep their emotions in check this week and play the game without letting extra-curricular stuff or illegal hits ruin the matchup. That was the case in Week 2, but, Burfict was suspended for that game. This week will be the first time Burfict will face the Steelers since January’s playoff game.