Silence speaks in Bengals ejection-marred loss

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Silence speaks in Bengals ejection-marred loss

In the aftermath of last week’s 23-7 loss at Jacksonville, Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green stood in front of his teammates and apologized for getting ejected before standing in front of reporters and continuing to apologize while answering every question.

Sunday in the visitors locker room at Nissan Stadium, Burfict refused to talk to the media after getting ejected from a 24-20 loss to the Tennessee Titans.

When asked if Burfict apologized to the team, two veteran leaders – one on offense and one on defense – both said “no comment.”

Burfict was ejected after drawing two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in a span of three plays in the first half. The first penalty came when Burfict hit Titans running back DeMarco Murray well out of bounds. Two plays later, Burfict was flagged for making contact with an official, mandating the ejection.

Neither the late hit on Murray, which essentially was a chest bump, or the contact with the official, a simple arm re-directing an arm, were forcible in an way.

Linebacker Vinny Rey started to defend his teammate when asked if thinks Burfict is being unfairly targeted because of his reputation. But Rey ultimately elected to stay silent as well.

“I don’t want to say it’s unfair, but I would say that, um…,” he said before a long pause. “I would say that, that they uh, …. Maybe I won’t say anything.”

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, however, did not stay quiet.

“He has to understand,” Lewis said. “I’ve pointed it out. In those situations, everybody’s over there and you just can’t push back. Sometimes that’s what happens, you push back and it’s the official. You can’t do that.

“He knows better,” Lewis said. “We pay a price. We pay a price because he hurts us when it’s on the field that way, and then he’s not on the field. Both ways.”

Burfict will be facing a fine and another possible suspension with his repeat offender status. The NFL fine schedule for a first offense of contact with an official stipulates a minimum fine of $30,387. The minimum fine for a first offense of a late hit is $9,115.

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