TDBH: NFL upholds Burfict’s three-game suspension

Posted Feb 10, 2018

This Day in Bengals History - February 11, 2016

Despite Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther and several players believing linebacker Vontaze Burfict did the best he could to avoid drilling Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown in the head on the final scrimmage play of last month’s controversial Wild Card Game, the NFL today upholds Burfict’s three-game suspension imposed by commissioner Roger Goodell. The unsuccessful appeal is heard by Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Brooks and now he’ll miss the first three games of the upcoming season. The league also confirms Burfict meets with Goodell in New York today, but it is unrelated to the suspension for what is ruled as repeated violations of the player safety guidelines.

With the Bengals leading in the last minute, 16-15, Burfict is hit with a 15-yard unnecessary roughness call for hitting a defenseless player on a play Brown suffers a concussion. It puts the Steelers within field-goal range and when Steelers assistant coach Joey Porter barges on to the field, all hell breaks loose. To the Bengals disbelief, cornerback Adam Jones is called for unsportsmanlike conduct and Porter goes off the field unscathed. That turns the field goal into a last-play chip shot for an 18-16 Pittsburgh win and the game submerges into controversy.

“I think he was just doing his job. If (Brown) catches that over the middle they’re going to kick an easy field goal, so what does he try and do? He tries to do his job get the ball off him," says Bengals nose tackle Domata Peko two days after the game. “In games like that a flag shouldn’t determine whether you’re going to go to the next round. I believe there should be some kind of new rule in the playoffs where things are on the line that they’ll have someone in the booth that can overturn the call.”

But this is one call the league won’t overturn.

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