Bengals Player: Officials Have Provoked, Cursed Vontaze Burfict Multiple Times

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 13, 2017

Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict (55) jogs off the field after a play during the second half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. The Jaguars won 23-7. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict was ejected from Sunday's game after making contact with an official, but one of his teammates believes he is getting provoked by those in charge.

An unnamed Bengals player told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Monday that officials have cursed at Burfict and provoked him into making contact three times in the last four games.

A spokesman for the league denied these charges.

Burfict received two personal foul calls during Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans. The first was a late hit on DeMarco Murray where it appeared the linebacker attempted to get out of the way. The second came when an official got between Burfict and some Titans players after a play. He shoved the arm out of his way, leading to a second foul and an automatic ejection.

Jay Morrison of Cox Media Group summed up the set of plays:

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, he won't be suspended but could still face a fine.

The 27-year-old has developed quite a reputation around the league for his wild play. He was suspended for the first three games of this season for an illegal hit in the preseason, with his suspension letter citing his knack for violating the rules "on a repeated basis."

He also earned a three-game suspension in 2015 and has coughed up thousands of dollars in fines for various unsportsmanlike activities.

From the opposing perspective, however, the Bengals apparently believe the league is baiting him into these incidents and punishing him accordingly.

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