The NFL will fine Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict $25,000 for twisting the ankles of Cam Newton and Greg Olsen in Sunday's 37-37 game against the Carolina Panthers, according to Pro Football Talk. Despite Olsen calling for the league to suspend Burfict for his actions earlier in the week, it looks like the fine is his only punishment.
However, ESPN's Ed Werder reported that the next time Burfict has an infraction like this, he'll be summoned to the league office to meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. That could result in a suspension, which would be the first in his NFL career.
This isn't the first time Burfict has been fined by the NFL for illegal actions committed before or after the whistle. According to Spotrac, Burfict was fined three times in 2013, two of which came in the same game against the Green Bay Packers. In that game, Burfict was fined $10,000 for hitting tight end Ryan Taylor in the groin. He was also fined $21,000 for a hit on wide receiver James Jones, which was deemed a hit on a defenseless player. Burfict was fined $21,000 again that year for illegally spearing New York Jets wide receiver Stephen Hill.
Against the Panthers, Burfict twisted Cam Newton's ankle after the quarterback scored on a 12-yard run in the third quarter. The linebacker twisted Olsen's ankle after he caught a 13-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. Both Panthers have dealt with ankle injuries this season.
Even though Burfict was not penalized during the game, this isn't the kind of reputation he wants to have in a league committed to safety now more than ever. He's painting himself in a bad light, and if he keeps it up, it's going to lead to him being suspended and hurting his own team.