(SportsNetwork.com) – Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict has been
fined $25,000 by the NFL for deliberately twisting the ankles of two Carolina
Panthers players on Sunday, according to multiple reports.
Burfict was accused by the Panthers of targeting the ankles of quarterback Cam
Newton and tight end Greg Olsen after both scored touchdowns.
Replays appeared to show Burfict twisting Newton’s ankle and pulling on
Olsen’s as the players lay in the end zone. Newton had ankle surgery in March
and Olsen was limited in practice last week with an ankle injury.
Burfict was not penalized on either play but Olsen said Monday he thought the
incidents were “premeditated.”
“And I think the punishment needs to go beyond a fine,” Olsen said, according
to the Charlotte Observer. “Guys like that don’t learn from that stuff. He’s
been fined 100 times for head-hunting, and he did it to (wide receiver) Kelvin
(Benjamin) again. You watch the film; it’s just what he is.”
ESPN.com reported that Panthers coach Ron Rivera sent tapes of the plays to
the NFL. Carolina kicker Graham Gano indicated in a tweet he thought a Bengals
player was intentionally trying to hurt his teammates and that he hoped the
league “lays down the law hard.”
Burfict, 24, made the Pro Bowl last season and signed a four-year contract in
August worth a reported $20 million. He has 18 tackles in three games this