For the second straight week, the Cincinnati Bengals will avoid losing a key player to suspension, though, players have been ejected in back-to-back weeks.
Against the Tennessee Titans, linebacker Vontaze Burfict was kicked out of the game due to making contact with an official. However, that will not earn a suspension for Week 11 versus the Denver Broncos, according to Ian Rapoport.
Rapoport adds that Burfict may be fined, which is nothing new to him, but it’s still good to see a suspension does not appear to be in the cards.
The play in question came after Burfict helped stop Marcus Mariota at the 1-yard line on a run play late in the second quarter. Burfict then made contact with an official, who deemed it was enough to eject the Bengals linebacker from the game.
This was the contract made:
This happened a couple of plays after Burfict was flagged for a late hit out of bounds on Titans running back DeMarco Murray, which was also clearly a bad call.
This also comes after the Bengals lost A.J. Green to an ejection for fighting in their Week 9 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. However, Green also avoided a suspension in the NFL, in part because he missed the entire second half of that game, making it effectively a suspension.
That’s what happened to Burfict, so it appears missing an entire half was enough of a punishment in that regard, though he may get a fine tacked on later this week.
The NFL not suspending Burfict is essentially the league admitting the official who kicked Burfict out of the game overreacted to Burfict moving the official’s hand off of his body. Burfict is never going to get the benefit of the doubt from the officials due to his history, but the officials are clearly going out of their way to punish the Bengals linebacker.
“He has to understand, I’ve pointed it out, in those situations, everybody is over there and you just can’t push back,” head coach Marvin Lewis said after the game. “Sometimes what happens, you push back and it’s the official, you can’t do that. He knows better. We pay a price, we pay a price because he hurts us when it’s on the field that way, and then he’s not on the field, so both ways. We settled down and we played, and that’s what we needed to do. We settled down and played and that was good.”