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NFL rejects Burfict's appeal, upholds 4-game suspension

From FOX Sports - April 12, 2018

CINCINNATI (AP)Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict will be sidelined to start a season for the fourth year in a row, this time serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFLs policy on performance-enhancers.

The NFL rejected Burficts appeal without comment and upheld the full suspension on Thursday. Its the third time the volatile linebacker has been suspended by the league in the past three years.

The Bengals are accustomed to going without their most valuable defensive player, whom theyve steadfastly supported throughout his suspension-shortened career. They even gave him a three-year contract extension last season while he was serving a three-game suspension from the league.

Theyll have to plan to do without him again as they try to rebound from a second straight season of failing to reach the playoffs. The Bengals havent won a playoff game since the 1990 season, the sixth-longest streak of futility in NFL history.

Burfict missed the first six games of the 2015 season while recovering from knee surgery. The biggest meltdown of his career came during the playoffs that season, when he hit Antonio Brown in the head on an incomplete pass, drawing a penalty that set up Pittsburghs field goal in the closing seconds for an 18-16 victory.

Reacting to the hitwhich left Brown with a concussionthe NFL suspended Burfict three games for the start of the following season, noting his history of such conduct.

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