Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict has lost his appeal and will begin the 2018 season serving a four-game suspension for violating the league's PED policy, according to an NFL statement. In no way was this surprising, as it was expected after the suspension was reported last month.
Cincinnati's defense is dependent on Burfict's talent as he is one of their few elite playmakers, but they have not been able to depend on him to stay off the league's suspension list. "But at the end of the day we are a player-oriented business and the players are the ones that win or lose for us".
This will be the third consecutive season during which Burfict is suspended.
Once he completes the latest suspension, Burfict will have missed 33 of the team's last 70 games. In that game, Burfict was injured by what was ultimately deemed an illegal block by Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith Schuster. He initially was suspended five games but had the penalty reduced on appeal.