Vontaze Burfict's decision to level Antonio Brown with a helmet-to-helmet hit in the closing minutes of Bengals vs. Steelers could have repercussions beyond costing Cincinnati a chance to advance in the NFL playoffs.
Burfict is facing a suspension for the hit, which would be levied at the beginning of the 2016 season. The Bengals linebacker could face a multi-game suspension, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. Brown sustained a concussion as a result of the hit, which occurred when he was trying to pull the Steelers within field goal range in the fourth quarter.
A defenseless Brown was open in the middle of the field after stretching to attempt to catch a high pass. Burfict arrived late to not only lay a hit on Brown, but he also led with his head.
It's unclear if Brown will be able to play for the Steelers in their Divisional round game against the Denver Broncos. Schefter notes that Burfict has already been fined a total of $69,454 for a combination of plays directed at Steelers players that the league felt warranted punishment.
Burfict has two years remaining on a contract extension he signed in 2014. It's too early to predict what the Bengals will do moving forward, but after the debacle on Saturday night, there will be a lot of voices wanting things to change in Cincinnati.