Vontaze Burfict might be receiving support from his teammates after he was suspended for the remainder of the 2019 season, but at least one player is speaking out who has been on the receiving end on what of his dirty hits and changed his career.
New York Jets running back Le’Veon Bell recently discussed Vontaze Burfict’s 12-game suspension on the latest episode of the 17 Weeks from Uninterrupted, SiriusXM, and Pandora.
“There’s certain fine lines you really can’t cross and I feel like he kind of finds it every game,” Bell said regarding Burfict. “It’s like unbelievable. The league did what it did. I’m glad they’re finally trying to bite down on things like that because we don’t want dirty players in the league. Obviously, you don’t want guys to not be able to provide for their family. It’s not like I don’t want him on the field, but I just want him to play clean. If he’s not playing clean then other guys can’t really provide for their families because they’re hurt.”
“I’ve played Vontaze Burfict numerous times and there’s been a lot of plays that people don’t see where it’s been dirty,” Bell said. “He had a bunch of dirty things on me, but in 2015, the one that kind of hurt me on the sideline, he didn’t have to do that.”
The play he is referring to had him suffering a season-ending knee injury.
“It kind of changed my life,” Bell said. “I feel like in 2015 I was on the verge of having my best football year. At that time I was in the best shape of my life, I was doing everything right, so then when I got hurt, it just kind of like set me back and I kind of went into this like, I don’t want to say depression, but it was something close to it. Just because of the fact that I wasn’t able to play football and I was hurt. And it was so hard, it was literally the hardest thing ever for me to come back from a knee injury. Don’t get me wrong, knee injuries happen. But it shouldn’t be like a guy trying to pull you down and wrap their legs around you and pull you back to really fold your leg up. It shouldn’t be like that.”
Vontaze Burfict will have the appeal of his suspension heard next week. Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Brooks, jointly appointed by the NFL and NFLPA, will preside over the appeal.