Ben Roethlisberger believes Vontaze Burfict tried to hurt him
Ben Roethlisberger stated that after getting more time to contemplate what transpired, he now is convinced Vontaze Burfict tried to hurt him during the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 33-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday.
Roethlisberger contends that the linebacker intentionally went low on him.
“I don’t buy that he was pushed,” he said Tuesday on KDKA-FM, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “He definitely was diving in low and going for my legs. It’s tough. I am just glad I didn’t get hurt.”
Roetlhisberger said at first he believed Burfict’s claim but after a “friend and former teammate” sent him video of the play, he reconsidered.
“I remember throwing the ball and then somebody hitting my lower leg and, I am not one who complains that much to the officials, so I looked at the official and said, ‘Who just went low?’” Roethlisberger said. “He said he got pushed into me and ‘my bad.’ The officials kind of nodded.”
Burfict previously ran afoul of the Steelers after he appeared to celebrate a play during which running back Le’Veon Bell suffered a knee injury, an accusation the linebacker denied.
Burfict also was at the center of a pregame brawl between the teams, setting the stage for bad blood and animosity that continued well into the game.
Roethisberger also contended that there “has to be a level of professionalism” during games, even ones between fierce division rivals.
“You never want to intentionally hurt somebody,” he said. “Yeah, do you want to play the game as physical as you can and try to win the game, yes. But never to intentionally harm somebody or put somebody out of the game or end their season or their career. That’s just not the way game should be played.”
Bufict was not penalized on the play nor was he fined by the NFL after the fact.