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:
Marvin Lewis has been working behind the scenes with Burfict all of the last month connecting with the league on this.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) February 11, 2016
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.