Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell sustained a knee injury when he was tackled by Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict in Sunday's game. The injury looked bad, and the Steelers are currently awaiting further results to determine the extent of his injury. But several Steelers players believe Burfict reacted inappropriately after making the tackle.
Ben Roethlisberger found Bell for an eight-yard gain on first-and-10 in the second quarter. Bell's leg got caught under Burfict as he made the tackle, resulting in the injury (which is currently believed to be an MCL injury). After the play, Burfict got up and ran back to the Cincinnati sideline. Some of the Steelers players thought he was celebrating Bell's injury after the play.
Ramon Foster said that Burfict is the type of guy who "gets his sooner or later," and suggested that Burfict ran across the field celebrating what was clearly an injured player on the field.
"If you're on the field with him, you know what I mean by that," Foster said, via Chris Adamski of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "They'll play it off; he'll act dumb about it. But you don't run across the field hyped, celebrating, jumping up and down when a guy goes down like that."
Marcus Gilbert, another teammate of Bell's, called Burfict's behavior "bulls--t."
As far as Burfict and the Bengals are concerned, Burfict "heard a snap and was horrified," and that's why he ran away so fast after making the tackle, according to Adamski. He also said that he was not aware of Bell's injury and claimed that he and Bell were friends off the field.
Burfict was playing in his first game for the Bengals this year. He's been inactive due to a stint on the physically unable to perform list, but was activated prior to Sunday's game and made the start in Cincinnati's defense. Burfict has drawn criticism in the past for dirty play, notably last season when he twisted Cam Newton's ankle at the end of a play.
Burfict's reaction after tackling Bell was not visible during the broadcast, so it's hard to say what exactly happened, much less determine a player's intent.
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