By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict has had his NFL suspension lowered to just three games on Wednesday. He was previously looking at a five-game suspension for a preseason hit.
The hit in question happened on Kansas City Chiefs fullback Anthony Sherman, which was ruled illegal. Former NFL wide receiver James Thrash made the appeal.
According to the league, Sherman was a defenseless player when he was hit by Burfict. This is a new rule by the league as they are trying to protect players.
Burfict has a history with the NFL, including other questionable hits and several fines.
“This is not your first offense with respect to illegal hits to defenseless players,” Troy Vincent, the NFL’s Executive Vice President of Football Operations said. “To the contrary, this incident is consistent with your pattern of egregious safety-related violations, including your hit on a defenseless player during the 2015 Wild-Card game and your hit against a Baltimore tight end (Maxx Williams) away from the play on Jan. 3, 2016.
“When players violate the rules to protect player safety on a repeated basis, and particularly when the violations carry with a significant risk of injury to an opposing player … you must be held accountable for this continuing unacceptable conduct.”
While the league says it was an illegal hit, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis believes it was a legal hit.
“His head was out to the left, as you can see in every single angle,” Lewis said. “Behind, front, television, All-22, it’s always out to the side and in front of the player. There’s no contact whatsoever. And if you have to slow down things in high definition and go frame-by-frame, and you’re still not sure, we don’t officiate the game that way. …. I don’t see how players can be held to that standard as well.”
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