We should find out soon if the NFL is going to suspend or fine Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontez Burfict for a few of his questionable Sunday actions in his team’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. In the meantime, however, former Cleveland Browns tackle Joe Thomas gave his opinion on what should happen to Burfict during a Tuesday morning interview on the ‘Golic and Wingo’ show on ESPN Radio.
“Well, when you take a forearm to somebody’s head-neck area, especially a defenseless receiver like we saw with Antonio Brown, who’s already wrapped up and falling to the ground, that’s clearly just intent to injure and severely injure,” Thomas said. “We’re talking head-neck area. So, I don’t know if this is a guy that can ever learn.
“Really, I think he should be suspended probably the rest of the season because nothing else has gotten through to him. And I don’t know if he’s getting many more chances to be able to continue his career in the NFL because he is clearly shown no matter what the NFL does to him, he will not change the way he’s playing the game. And that is just not a player that you can allow on the field.”
On Monday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that NFL was beginning the process of reviewing three plays from the Bengals Sunday game against the Steelers that involved Burfict to determine an appropriate level of discipline. One of those plays was of course a play Thomas referenced during his Tuesday radio interview, which was Burfict delivering an elbow to Antonio Brown’s head and neck area following a third quarter reception near the middle of the field.
During his Monday press conference, Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis once again declined to address the latest dirty play accusations against Burfict.
“Everybody makes comments on everything No. 55 does. They don’t comment on anything anybody else does. Let’s just leave it at that,” Lewis said.
For what it’s worth, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported on Monday that while the NFL could ultimately fine Burfict for an action or two of his during Sunday’s game against the Steelers, a suspension of any kind isn’t expected to be handed down by the league.