Vontaze Burfict's Suspension Reduced to 3 Games After Appeal

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 30, 2017

Cincinnati Bengals outside linebacker Vontaze Burfict (55) prepares to line up against the Dallas Cowboys during an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016, in Arlington. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict's five-game suspension was reduced to three games following an appeal on Wednesday.

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network shared the NFL's statement on the decision: 

ESPN's Josina Anderson first reported the news.  

This comes after ESPN's Adam Schefter reported he was facing the five-game suspension for an illegal hit against the Kansas City Chiefs in Cincinnati's second preseason contest. The hit came against fullback Anthony Sherman, and Schefter explained it violated a new rule designed "to protect the player who can't protect himself" while "in a defenseless posture."

Schefter also reported Burfict was set to lose $882,353 in base salary if the entire five-game suspension was upheld.

This is far from the first time Burfict has found himself in trouble with the league.

Ahead of the 2016 season, the NFL announced the linebacker was suspended for the year's first three games after an illegal hit on Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown during the playoffs. The announcement said the suspension came "for repeated violations of safety-related playing rules."

It also noted he was fined for safety-related violations four different times in 2015.

Burfict is a force on the field for the Bengals when he is playing. He went to the Pro Bowl in 2013 with 171 combined tackles, three sacks, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble and an interception, and he thrived again last season despite playing just 11 games with 101 combined tackles, two sacks, two interceptions and a forced fumble.

While Cincinnati has Jordan Evans and Vincent Rey for depth at linebacker, it is a much more formidable defense when Burfict is in the lineup.

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