Tuesday has come and gone without the NFL suspending Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict for a pair of questionable hits on Sunday at New England. This means, as a practical matter, that he won’t be suspended this week.
Suspensions typically are imposed on a Monday. League procedures require them to be finalized no later than the close of business on Tuesday, since the work week in advance of the next game begins in earnest on Wednesday.
The absence of a suspension doesn’t mean Burfict will be unpunished. He’ll be notified of any fines, and the NFL will disclose on Friday (if/when asked by reporters whether Burfict was fined) the amount of the fine and the reason for it.
Burfict made waves by diving at the knees of Patriots tight end Martellus Bennett as pass was heading in his direction. Burfict also appeared to stomp on Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount after a touchdown. (Ed Werder of ESPN reports that the Bengals believe based on review of the film that Burfict didn’t stomp on Blount; Blount’s reaction suggests that something untoward occurred.)
Burfict was suspended three games to start the season after applying an illegal hit to Steelers receiver Antonio Brown during last year’s wild-card playoff. It was the culmination of a variety of infractions committed and punishments received by Burfict.
Those punishments were levied by Merton Hanks. Jon Runyan now has the job of imposing discipline for on-field misconduct. It will be the first clear glimpse at how a player who consistently pushed the limits of the rules will handle current players who are doing the same thing.