Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict had a pair of unnecessary roughness penalties before he left with a head injury yesterday.
But after he returned, he had a pair of plays which were unnecessarily rough, even though they weren’t flagged.
Burfict appeared to twist the ankles of both Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and tight end Greg Olsen after making tackles, plays which didn’t draw the scrutiny of refs on the field.
Charlotte photographer Jeremy Igo captured the Olsen twist, which wasn’t as immediately noticeable as the one on Newton.
Newton, who is coming off ankle surgery, gave Burfict a little kick back at the end of that play, though play resumed without any offcials getting involved.
Apparently no one in the post-game locker room was asked about the play, but Panthers kicker Graham Gano took to Twitter afterwards with some harsh words.
“Unbelievable that a player would intentionally try to hurt my teammates twice,” Gano wrote. “I hope the NFL lays down the law hard. #unacceptable.”
Burfict’s actions do invite further scrutiny, and the league will likely want to have a look, especially since he targeted the leg Newton had surgically repaired this offseason.