Vontaze Burfict Kneed Ben Roethlisberger in Shoulder, Has Long History of Dirty Play


Vontaze Burfict is facing a suspension for his hit on Antonio Brown Saturday night, reports Adam Schefter. While the shoulder-to-helmet hit may not have necessitated this discipline in a vacuum, Burfict had another questionable play in that game, and has a history with the Steelers in general, as well as a history of other dicey plays.

On the sack of Ben Roethlisberger that sent the quarterback to the locker room with a separated shoulder, Burfict (who led the league in unnecessary roughness penalties this season, and had 22 “flagrant” penalties in 37 games at Arizona State) appeared to knee him after he was already down:

Burfict, who is an immensely talented player, went low on Roethlisberger when the Bengals played the Steelers in Week 14:

After that game, Pittsburgh players refused to shake Burfict’s hand; the linebacker was fined almost $70,000 for the low hit (which went uncalled), as well as two unnecessary roughness penalties.

It was Burfict whose tackle in Week 8 put star running back Le’Veon Bell out for the year:

While the play in and of itself was not dirty, Steelers players took exception to Burfict’s celebration of it. “He’s that type of guy,” said Steelers offensive lineman Ramon Foster. “That type of guy gets his sooner or later. So, wait and see, I guess. He’s that type of guy, period. If you’re on the field with him, you know what I mean by that. They’ll play it off; he’ll act dumb about it. But you don’t run across the field hyped, celebrating, jumping up and down when a guy goes down like that.”

Burfict also had this helmet-to-helmet hit on Maxx Williams of the Ravens in Week 17 (on the bottom of the screen):

Finally, Burfict was fined $25,000 for twisting the ankles of Greg Olsen and Cam Newton after they were already tackled last season:

“I think instances like that that are so clearly premeditated that he 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,” said Olsen. “I think the punishment needs to go beyond a fine. Guys like that don’t learn from that stuff. He’s been fined a hundred times for head hunting, and he did it to Kelvin (Benjamin) again. You watch the film, that’s just what he is.”

[GIFs by Shamburger; Display Photo via USA Today Sports Images]