Tempers flared at Bengals training camp recently when linebacker Vontaze Burfict tackled Giovanni Bernard. When the tackle started Burfict attacked Bernard at the waist. However, as the play was completing, he continued to take Bernard down by the knees. While tackling a player at training camp is not ideal, this particular tackle is unnecessary. Bernard has recently finished recovering from a season-ending ACL injury that he suffered against the Bills. The hit caused a small scuffle among players that eventually subsided and the two were able to move on and continue practicing. Bernard believes that there were no ill-feelings against him and that it’s just part of football.
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It is not surprising that in a situation like this Burfict’s name comes up. The linebacker has a history of questionable plays that violate player safety rules. Plays include hitting a defenseless player, spearing, and twisting the ankles of both Panthers Cam Newton and Greg Olsen. In 2016, Burfict was suspended for three games for unnecessary roughness against wide receiver Antonio Brown in the Wild Card matchup. Head coach Marvin Lewis has been attempting to cover for his actions on the field, but it appears Burfict started right where he left off.