Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict is in the headlines again, and unfortunately it’s not for making a game winning tackle or interception. The 2013 Pro Bowler had a literal run-in with a cameraman during the Bengals Thursday night win over the Browns.
Burfict was in coverage when Johnny Manziel overthrew his receiver in the back of the endzone. He and safety Reggie Nelson ran through the play and their momentum led them straight into a nearby cameraman. Nelson narrowly avoided contact, but Burfict ran directly into the camera, intentionally pushing it to the ground in the process. The push caused the camera to fall back into the face of the operator, causing damage to his face.
No stranger to controversy
Burfict signed a three-year extension with the Bengals last year after leading the league in tackles in 2013. He has always been a talented player but his attitude and off-field transgressions have almost kept him out of the league.
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After being touted by many experts as a top level draft prospect, red flags began to multiply. At the NFL Combine, he blamed his coaches for a sub-par year, ran a slow 40-yard dash time, and it was reported that he tested positive for marijuana.
His stock dissipated and he went undrafted. The Bengals signed him as a free agent in 2012. He’s managed to keep himself out of trouble long enough to put together a very solid career.
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Turmoil in an undefeated season
This season has been a tough test for Burfict. He missed the first six games with a knee injury and has been accused of some egregious acts. First, intentionally injuring Steelers running back LeVeon Bell and now purposely injuring a cameraman. Fans have battered his character and called for him to be benched. Steelers players are livid. Can Vontaze get over the hump and out of the media?
Forgive and forget
According to ESPN’s Coley Harvey, coach Marvin Lewis and the Bengals brass have asked Burfict to apologize to the injured cameraman.
The fact that this hasn’t happened yet and that Burfict had to be asked speaks volumes. Hopefully, Burfict will do the right thing, stay healthy, and continue to make plays for his team. The last thing an undefeated team needs is an unnecessary and avoidable distraction.
Should Vontaze Burfict be punished by the league for this? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below