WASHINGTON, October 24, 2017 – Last Sunday Bengals’ Vontaze Burfict (#55) kicked Steelers fullback Roosevelt Nix in the face and then pointed at him as though Nix had done something wrong. Referees failed to see the dirty play or chose to ignore Burfict, and no flag was thrown.
If seen by the refs, Burfict would have been pegged with an unnecessary roughness penalty for his kick to the face, after the whistle.
Roosevelt, who team captain Ben Roethlisberger says is “the best fullback in the world,” clearly flustered the Bengals’ linebacker with his crushing blocks that helped Le’Veon Bell rush for 134 yards on 35 carries.
“He gave it to Burfict all day,” Ramon Foster said.
“There were some big collisions,” Roethlisberger added. “You kind of could hear them. You can just tell that Rosie loves it. He brings a toughness, a tenacity, nastiness. It’s all clean. It’s all legal. He loves it. He absolutely loves it.”
This is not the first time the game has taken an ugly turn for Bengal’s. Burfict was given a five-game suspension after an illegal hit on Chiefs fullback Anthony Sherman on Aug. 19. Burfict also served a three-game suspension in 2016 for violating player safety rules following an incident in a 2015 playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
According to Fan Buzz, the NFL has fined Burfict nearly $800,000 for 16 unnecessary roughness penalties throughout his first five seasons. This season Burfict missed games against Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans and Green Bay Packers.
As players get bigger, and stronger, and we learn more about brain injuries suffered on the field that are killing players, fans and players alike are speaking out against “dirty players”, wanting to see a return of warrior civility.
Two-time Pro Bowl running back Le’Veon Bell is making his feelings known, including the fact that Burfict’s play was “not football” and that the league needs to reject players like Burfict before someone suffers “unnecessary roughness” that results in permanent injury or even death. Many echo Bell’s statement that “Dude, gotta go man.”
Oh for the days of four-time pro-bowler and overall nice guy Boomer Esiason.
The story from Fan Buzz is: