The hit in question came during the second week of the preseason in the middle of the first quarter. Burfict knocks into Sherman using his shoulder to take him out of the play.
This is the hit that the NFL is suspending Vontaze Burfict 5 games for. pic.twitter.com/Xiyab0kdrC— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) August 28, 2017
Burfict is appealing the suspension, which if it sticks would be his second suspension in two years. He was suspended for three games to start the 2016 NFL season due to repeated violations of the NFL’s safety rules.
Bengals fans and NFL fans in general reacted very differently to the news, as you may expect. For the Bengals, this dramatically impacts the 2017 NFL season and the future of the team. Burfict is playing on the final year of his current contract and the Bengals were surely hoping he would stay out of trouble in a contract year to prove his value to the team and his ability to stay out of the news for the wrong reasons.
Below is a roundup of Bengals fan (and other civilized NFL fan) reactions to the news of Burfict’s suspension.
It's not about THIS hit. It's about him continually putting others at risk and that's not OK in today's NFL. I don't agree, but they warned.— Joe (@JoeGoodberry) August 28, 2017
But did he have to hit him like that?— Joe (@JoeGoodberry) August 28, 2017
If not, then it is Unnecessary Roughness by definition. https://t.co/tPFCtiDykf
Does anyone have an issue with that hit? https://t.co/W0OjL7et5M— James Rapien (@JamesRapien) August 28, 2017
Burficts payday just took a major hit. Nobody is going to bay big money for a guy who could be supspended for a year for a hard hit.— NotWhoYouThink (@SmallTown4Life) August 28, 2017
This is the truth. He's being punished for being a habitual line-stepper. https://t.co/1Gwo7AenoL— Joe (@JoeGoodberry) August 28, 2017
The people who think that Burficit hit is a dirty hit don't understand football. That includes the NFL office. I'll leave it at that.— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) August 28, 2017
Vontaze Burfict: makes a legal hit on a receiver within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage— Connor Howe (@sdsportsdude) August 28, 2017
Roger Goodell: SUSPEND HIM 5 GAMES
It's hard to determine intent in that hit, but Burfict's past history does him no favors with the league at this point.— Katherine Terrell (@Kat_Terrell) August 28, 2017
Five games really is an incredible suspension. Completely alters Bengals defense (obviously) & will have domino effect for final cuts to 53.— Andre Perrotta (@andreperrotta13) August 28, 2017
As a football coach i find this suspension ridiculous it was a clean textbook hit. Pretty soon the NFL will be flag football only.— Alexander Eldridge (@coach_eldridge) August 28, 2017
Them kind of hits what football what it is in 1970 and 80's and 90's people made living off that kind of football. It's called smash mouth— James willis (@Jameswll1988) August 28, 2017
This is why the NFL thinks that hit is unnecessary:— Joe (@JoeGoodberry) August 28, 2017
1) Smith throws downfield
2) Burfict clearly sees it & takes out FB (who is defenseless) pic.twitter.com/iCaf4tyciD
And, here’s a sampling from Facebook:
You know who’s happy about this? All of the Bengals’ opponents, including Ravens fans as the Bengals plays Baltimore in Week 1.
Here’s a Steelers fan who thinks the actions from Burfict do NOT warrant a suspension...
I'm a Steeler fan and hate Vontaze as a player but I don't think that hit warrants a suspension. Let them play— Tom (@Tomm622) August 28, 2017
Unclear if this is related, but Dre Kirkpatrick loves you all...
Well guys I love u all.— Dre Kirkpatrick (@DreKirkSWAG) August 28, 2017