Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict will surely receive league discipline for his hit to the head that gave Steelers receiver Antonio Brown a concussion. But Burfict’s discipline may not simply be the routine fine that players regularly get for helmet-to-helmet hits.
NFL discipline is designed to come down harder on repeat offenders, and Burfict’s status as a repeat offender could lead to a suspension.
Burfict was fined for three different penalties he committed the last time he played the Steelers, one low hit on Ben Roethlisberger and two unnecessary roughness calls.
Add it all up, and it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that repeated fines aren’t getting through to Burfict. When that happens, the NFL’s next step is usually to impose a suspension. There’s a good chance Burfict won’t be on the field when the regular season begins in eight months.