Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict is facing a three game suspension by the NFL after he viciously hit Pittsburg Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown in their game this past Sunday.
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The hit was almost unwatchable and did some serious damage to Brown. Burfict went high and hit Brown's head on an incomplete pass late in the fourth quarter. Brown was diagnosed with a concussion and Burfit received a personal foul penalty that likely changed the final score of the game.
"He's trying to go over and defend the play," Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said after the game. "There were a lot of plays out there and calls went different ways. They deemed that to be a hit to the head I guess, and others not today."
Within the locker room, the Steelers were incensed. However, linebacker James Harrison gave a bit of a perspective:
"By rule as they told me when I went down to New York that is a penalty. Personally, I don't think it is because I don't think you can get out of the way fast enough," Harrison said on NFL Network following the game, per Will Brinson of CBS Sports.
While many blamed it on the intense emotions of the wildcard game, the league said that he had "repeated violations of safety-related playing rules" when they handed down the penalty.
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The three games that he will miss include the first three games of the 2016 season, if Burfict doesn't win the appeal that he plans to file an appeal.