Vontaze Burfict hits Steelers WR Antonio Brown during the AFC wild card game.
Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict’s three-game suspension was upheld Thursday by appeals officer Derrick Brooks, a source confirmed to the Daily News.
Last month, Burfict was suspended by the NFL for repeated violations of player-safety rules. The last straw was Burfict’s hit on Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown in Cincinnati’s wild card round loss. Burfict hit a defenseless Brown in the head, resulting in an unnecessary roughness with 18 seconds left in the game. Combined with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty against Adam Jones, that put Pittsburgh in field goal range. Chris Boswell kicked a 35-yard field goal with 14 seconds left to win the game for the Steelers, 18-16.
Brown suffered a concussion from the hit and missed Pittsburgh’s divisional round loss to eventual Super Bowl 50 champion Denver.
ESPN first reported the suspension being upheld.
Burfict met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday after the appeal was denied, a meeting Burfict had requested, according to a source. Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis and NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent were also in the meeting, which Burfict wanted to discuss his pattern of behavior and what he needs to change moving forward.
There is precedent for such meetings. Ndamukong Suh had a similar face-to-face with Goodell during the 2011 season when he was with the Lions.
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