Vontaze Burfict is having a summer to forget.
The embattled Bengals linebacker is already set to serve a four-game suspension to open the 2018 season for a PED violation. He opened training camp on the NFI list due to what was called a tight hamstring, though he wasn’t brought off the list until the open portion of camp was almost over.
Then on Monday, Burfict suffered a foot injury that had him miss Tuesday’s practice. Now, he’s wearing a walking boot, according to Geoff Hobson.
This could be precautionary, but anytime the boot is brought up, there’s concern as to how serious the injury really is, and the Bengals are always very mysterious when it comes to injuries to key players.
If this turns out to be an injury that requires extended recovery time, perhaps the four-game suspension will be a blessing in disguise, as it gives him more time to recover and not feel pressured into returning too soon, something he’s made the mistake of doing in the past.
I doubt it’s serious enough to keep him sidelined into the regular season, but with the Bengals, you just never know.
With Burfict sidelined, that means more practice reps for guys like Chris Worley, Brandon Bell, Hardy Nickerson and Junior Joseph. Those are the guys fighting for that extra linebacker spot needing filled when Burfict begins his suspension to open the regular season.
Fellow linebacker Vincent Rey has also been riding a scooter while battling an ankle injury suffered in the first preseason game, which isn’t believed to be serious.