Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict will not be suspended for making contact with an official during his team’s loss to the Tennessee Titans on Sunday afternoon, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. A fine still remains possible, however.
Burfict was ejected from Sunday’s game after he swatted away a referee’s hand during a scuffle with a Titans offensive lineman.
“He [Burfict] has to understand, I’ve pointed it out, in those situations, everybody is over there and you can’t push back,” said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, according to Cameron Wolfe of ESPN. “Sometimes what happens, you push back and it’s the official, you can’t do that. He knows better. We pay a price, we pay a price because he hurts us when it’s on the field that way and then he’s not on the field, so both ways.”
Two plays before the ejection, Burfict was hit with a personal foul after hitting Tennessee running back DeMarco Murray when he was already out of bounds. Burfict, who is considered by many to be one of the league’s dirtiest players, had never been thrown out of a game until Sunday. This also marked the second straight week a Bengals player was ejected. Last Sunday, wide receiver A.J. Green was tossed from Cincinnati’s matchup with the Jacksonville Jaguars after tussling with cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
With the 24-20 loss to the Titans now on the ledger, the Bengals have fallen to 3-6 on the season and saw the team’s already slim playoff hopes dim even further.