Cincinnati Bengals: Burfict suspension reduced

Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict (55) participates in a team practice at Paul Brown Stadium, Tuesday, June 13, 2017. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

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Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict (55) participates in a team practice at Paul Brown Stadium, Tuesday, June 13, 2017. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

According to multiple reports, Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict's suspension has been reduced to three games by NFL appeals officer James Thrash.

The NFL initially suspended Burfict five games for his Aug. 19 hit on Kansas City fullback Anthony Sherman, whom the league ruled was in a defense posture while coming out of the backfield on a 36-yard completion down the middle of the field to tight end Travis Kelce.

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By sitting out the first three games of the season, Burfict will miss home games against Baltimore and Houston and a road game at Green Bay. He will be eligible to return to Sunday, Oct. 1 at Cleveland.

Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis called the suspension "ridiculous" and said Burfict, who has been fined or suspended eight previous times for violations of the league's player safety rules, has changed.

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