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Bengals LB Burfict suspended for first 3 games next season for horrific hit to player’s head

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Vontaze Burfict #55 of the Cincinnati Bengals argues in the second half of the AFC Wild Card Playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium on January 9, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Steelers defeated the Bengals 18-16. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

CINCINNATI (AP) — Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict has been suspended for the first three games of next season for repeated violations of the NFL’s rules against dangerous hits on opposing players.

His most recent penalty was for targeting Steelers receiver Antonio Brown after an incompletion during Pittsburgh’s 18-16 playoff win on Saturday night. The penalty for hitting Brown in the head moved the Steelers into range for the winning field goal in the final seconds.

The NFL noted that Burfict had already been fined four times for dangerous hits on players during the season. The NFL said it’s also reviewing the conduct of other players and coaches during the acrimonious game.

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