Burfict suspension upheld

Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict will miss the first three games of the 2016 NFL season after his ban was upheld on appeal.

Burfict was suspended for repeated breaches of the league’s player safety rules, the last of which stemmed from a tackle that left Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown concussed.

The player, his agent and Bengals coach Marvin Lewis all met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and executive vice-president Troy Vincent after the appeal was dismissed to discuss his behaviour.

Burfict has committed 16 personal fouls during his five seasons in the league, although the tackle on Brown caused the most reaction as it meant he missed the Steelers’ play-off clash with the Denver Broncos, who won that match and went on to beat Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 on Sunday,

He was fined for three different plays during that game, totalling $70,000 (£48,350), and was also hit with a $50,000 (£35,500) sanction earlier in the season for a hit on Baltimore’s rookie tight-end Maxx Williams.

Burfict will not be eligible to return until Cincinnati’s fourth game of the regular season, either in week four or five depending on their bye week, which is yet to be decided.