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Vontaze Burfict won’t be suspended for hit vs Browns; Marvin Lewis defends him

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The embattled linebacker avoids a suspension and gets some support from his coach.

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Cleveland Browns v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images

Another unnecessary Vontaze Burfict controversy has arose as a result of an officiating error.

This time, it was a personal foul penalty called on Burfict during the Cincinnati Bengals’ 30-16 win over the Cleveland Browns. It came when Burfict hit an unsuspecting Corey Coleman coming across the middle on a pass play. It was a key play in a game that was still close at the time it occurred, but thankfully, it did not prove costly in what turned into a relatively easy win.

The Cincinnati Enquirer has since reported that Burfict will not be suspended for the play, but it will be reviewed for a potential fine.

On Monday, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis defended the hit and his star linebacker, saying “it was legal.”

“It is unfortunate, though. That’s perfectly (legal),” said Lewis. “The guy is running at four (yards beyond the line of scrimmage), sees Vontaze running, alters to three, Vontaze hits him with the shoulder on the shoulder. That’s a legal football (play). The quarterback was in the pocket.

“Now, the quarterback then left the pocket — whether or not the referee deemed that (to be the reason), I don’t know. It’s unfortunate to have that penalty, because that led to the field (goal) position from there.”

It’s no secret that Burfict is under the microscope of the league and its many officials. We’ve seen it help lead to penalties and even ejections that were uncalled for. That’s something Burfict and the Bengals have to overcome, and on this occasion, they did so en route to a win over the Browns.

Vontaze Burfict Fine & Suspension History

DATE SUSPENSION FORFEITED REASON
DATE SUSPENSION FORFEITED REASON
10.27.2017 -- $12,154 Kicking Roosevelt Nix
8.28.2017 Three-game suspension (after appeal) $1,770,975 Illegal hit against Anthony Sherman
11.25.2016 -- $12,154 Unsportsmanlike conduct
10.19.2016 -- $75,000 Unsportsmanlike conduct
4.1.2016 Three-game suspension $502,941 Hit on a defenseless receiver (Antonio Brown)
1.11.2016 -- $50,000 Late hit
12.18.2016 -- $69,454 Multiple unsportsmanlike conducts
10.15.2014 -- $25,000 Ankle-twist on Cam Newton and Greg Olsen
11.1.2013 -- $21,000 Spearing
9.27.2013 -- $21,000 Hit on a defenseless receiver (James Jones)
9.27.2013 -- $10,000 Striking player in the groin
Total Six games $2,569,678 --