After several complaints that Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict was twisting players’ ankles after they were already tackled during the Panthers-Bengals tie on Sunday, the league is fining Burfict $US25,000.
Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict will be fined $US25,000 for twisting Cam Newton’s and Greg Olsen’s ankles, per league source.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) October 15, 2014
Panthers tight end Greg Olsen first went public with Burfict’s actions on Sunday, claiming the league needed to suspend Burfict to send a message. Olsen stated:
“I think instances like that, that are so clearly premeditated that [Burfict] had in his mind if those opportunities, that he was going to try to attack not only guys’ legs, but guys who were coming off ankle problems specifically, there’s no room for it. I think the punishment needs to go beyond a fine. Guys like that don’t learn from that stuff. He’s been fined 100 times for head hunting, and he did it to Kelvin again. You watch the film, that’s just what he is. At some point, if the NFL wants to really say they care about guys’ safety, they have to start putting guys out for weeks cause me and Cam are lucky we weren’t out for weeks.”
Video shows that Burfict, who got an unnecessary roughness penalty in the game, was twisting players’ ankles once they were down. The video of him pulling on Cam Newton’s ankles is most obvious:
Newton only gave Burfict a light kick afterward. Charlotte photographer Jeremy Igo posted a tweet that captured Burfict doing the same to Olsen:
It’s a deplorable act by Burfict, and Olsen is probably right that if the NFL wants to send a message, they should suspend Burfict. Intentionally hurting other players, especially when they’re already down, shouldn’t be taken lightly.
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