Vontaze Burfict's Suspension Upheld: Latest Details, Comments and Reaction

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIFebruary 11, 2016

CINCINNATI, OH - JANUARY 9: Vontaze Burfict #55 of the Cincinnati Bengals argues in the second half of the AFC Wild Card Playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium on January 9, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Steelers defeated the Bengals 18-16. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The three-game suspension assessed to Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict was reportedly upheld Thursday by NFL appeals officer Derrick Brooks.  

ESPN.com's Dan Graziano reported the news on Burfict's ban, and Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer confirmed the suspension would remain in place, explaining Burfict was a repeat violator of safety rules.

The Enquirer's Paul Dehner Jr. explained the role Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis played in the situation:

Burfict's suspension stems from a hit that left Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Antonio Brown concussed during Wild Card Weekend. Burfict was assessed a 15-yard penalty for the hit, leading to the sequence that positioned Pittsburgh for the winning field goal in an 18-16 victory.

But the damage had been done, as Brown couldn't suit up for the Steelers' loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos in the divisional round.

"Man, I wish I could have been out there with my teammates," said Brown of being unable to play in that contest, per The Cook and Poni Show (via CBS Pittsburgh). "I'm living with regrets that we could have been in the Super Bowl. Seventy percent of your vision holds your balance. I had no energy, bad balance, dizziness, headaches. I wouldn’t have been able to play."

Graziano also reported Thursday that Burfict met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell "to discuss his behavior and what to do going forward."

A report by ESPN.com's Coley Harvey and James Walker from Thursday that indicated Burfict would meet with Goodell noted the linebacker has been assessed 16 personal foul penalties since the dawn of his NFL career in 2012.

The 25-year-old star is a tremendous defensive playmaker but will have to adjust his tactics to avoid further disciplinary action in the future.

After five consecutive one-and-done playoff appearances, Cincinnati needs everyone on board as it makes another bid for a deep postseason run next season. It's vital for Burfict to exercise better judgment, considering, per Spotrac, his dead-cap penalty is only $775,000 in the final year of his contract in 2017.