Vontaze Burfict suspension: Here’s the hit and why it’s illegal under new NFL rule

Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict once again finds himself on the wrong side of NFL discipline. The the oft-penalized defender is reportedly facing a five-game suspension for a hit on Chiefs fullback Anthony Sherman during the second week of the preseason. 

The reported Burfict suspension is drawing plenty of attention on Monday morning, with folks wondering whether he actually hit Sherman illegally. 

In fact, it’s a new NFL rule that’s being used to penalize Burfict, one of the most penalized defenders in NFL history. This offseason, the NFL made it a rule that any running back or wide receiver or tight end running a receiving route would be considered in a defenseless position. 

That is clearly the case with Sherman during the play in question. 

Here is the wording from Article 7, Section a, part 2 where the league lists players who qualify as defenseless: A receiver running a pass route when the defender approaches from the side or behind. If the receiver becomes a blocker or assumes a blocking posture, he is no longer a defenseless player.

Sherman clearly meets the qualifications as someone who is running a pass route and Burfict pretty clearly approaches him from the side. Smith has already released the ball and Burfict (top right) isn’t thinking about anything other

Article source: https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/vontaze-burfict-suspension-heres-the-hit-and-why-its-illegal-under-new-nfl-rule/

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