As was pointed out earlier, the Carolina Panthers are upset about Vontaze Burfict, claiming that the middle linebacker twisted the ankles of Cam Newton and Greg Olsen during tackles. Well, it's not so much of a claim as it is undeniable.
Olsen offered comments on Monday
In case you can't view that or hate the convenience of video, most of what Olsen said is provided via ESPN:
"Punishment needs to go beyond a fine," Olsen said on Monday. "Guys like that don't learn from that stuff. He's been fined a 100 times for head-hunting, and he did it to Kelvin [Benjamin] again. You watch the film; that's just what he is.
"At some point, if the NFL wants to really say they care about guys' safety, they've got to start putting guys out for weeks. Me and Cam are lucky we aren't out for weeks, or Kelvin isn't out for weeks. If you're going to start putting guys on other teams out, then the ramifications need to equal that."
The Cincinnati Enquirer failed to get a quote and head coach Marvin Lewis blew it off completely (as we'd expect), saying with his usual Lewis-like laugh, "No, I don't have any comment. Ankle wrenching. Sounds like the WWF." The World Wildlife Federation denies any ankle wrenching.
Panthers head coach Ron Rivera expects the league to respond.
"There is no place in the game for a player doing extra stuff," Rivera said via the Enquirer. "And if that is what the league sees when I send in the tapes then so be it. If not then we go on from there. It's my interpretation of what I see."
Ian Rapoport with the NFL Network reports that the NFL will look into it.
Twice during Sunday's game between the Bengals and Panthers, Burfict allegedly twisted the ankles of two Panthers players after making tackles. One of those was Cam Newton, who noticeably reacted after Burfict quickly turned the quarterback's ankle.
And then quick twist of Greg Olsen's ankle during his touchdown reception.
Panthers kicker Graham Gano reacted on twitter.
Unbelievable that a player would intentionally try to hurt my teammates twice. I hope the NFL lays down the law hard. #Unacceptable— Graham Gano (@GrahamGano) October 13, 2014
Seriously that makes me sick. There is no room in this league 4 something like that. We are grown men, have respect for the game and others.— Graham Gano (@GrahamGano) October 13, 2014
Burfict offered no comment and Lewis deflected the issue completely. Olsen commented.
And these were plays that didn't warrant any response from the officials. Burfict was flagged for two personal fouls in the game -- a roughing the passer and an illegal hit on a defenseless receiver (though both appeared to be a bit ticky tack).
If the league views both plays as dirty, Burfict will likely be fined. There's even a possibility that Burfict could face a suspension, but there's no non-head-based precedent that would support it.
Burfict has a history of dishing out money for personal fouls. The league fined him $31,000 in week three last year for two incidents against the Packers. The first, a hit on a defenseless receiver, cost him $21,000. Another $10,000 was added after hitting Packers tight end Ryan Taylor in the groin.
Burfict was fined another $21,000 for spearing former Jets wide receiver Stephan Hill with the crown of his helmet.