Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict did not practice for a second straight day Thursday, putting his status in jeopardy for Sunday’s matchup against the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Burfict suffered a hip injury that forced him to sit out the second half of Sunday’s 45-10 drubbing by the Kansas City Chiefs.
The seventh-year linebacker has struggled since returning to the lineup after serving a four-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs.
Burfict had a career-high four missed tackles in the loss at Kansas City, including a pair on consecutive plays in the second quarter.
Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill eluded a tackle by Burfict Hill that enabled Kansas City to get a first down at the Bengals 15. On the next play, Burfict had running back Kareem Hunt contained to a three-yard gain but the tackle was missed and Hunt scored to put Cincinnati behind 14-0. Burfict then exited with a hip injury.
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis acknowledged that Burfict has not played up to his previous standards. In addition, Burfict was fined $112,000 by the NFL for two unnecessary calls against Pittsburgh in Week 6.
“He has not played as well as he played in the past,” Lewis said. “It’s not relevant.”
Burfict, in his seventh season out of Arizona State, is the most fined player in the NFL, paying $415,637. He has now been fined 11 times. He has also been suspended six games, including a three-game ban after an illegal hit on Brown in a 2016 playoff game.
Bengals wide receiver John Ross, as expected, also did not practice Thursday. He is expected to be sidelined a few weeks with a groin injury, according to the NFL Network.
Ross aggravated the injury during Sunday’s loss. The ninth overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, Ross missed two games with the groin injury before returning for Sunday’s game.
The 22-year-old Ross was unable to make it through the contest, however. Ross has recorded seven receptions for 79 yards and two touchdowns this season.