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Burfict could be suspended; Porter might be fined


The ending of Saturday night's raucous playoff game between the Steelers and Bengals could result in consequences for two key players in a fourth-quarter scrum.

Per NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict could face a suspension for his hit on Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown. Burfict was penalized for the hit, which helped put the Steelers into winning field-goal range.

NFL spokesman Michael Signora added: "As is the case during the regular season, any play or situation that involves a violation or potential violation of player safety rules or unsportsmanlike conduct -- whether penalized or not during the game -- is reviewed for possible discipline as per our standard protocol."

After the Brown hit, Steelers assistant Joey Porter came on the field because he had valid concern for Brown. Via Rapoport: "Assistants are not allowed on the field during injury timeouts. Medical staff, trainers, attendants and the head coach can come out to check on the welfare of the player. With an injury that appears to be more serious you will see players and other staff out on the field at times to check on player. The referees gave Porter the benefit of the doubt because there was real concern for Brown. The officials were working to clear the field and keep the two teams apart when (Bengals cornerback) Adam Jones came in and tried to get at Porter, so he was penalized. There was a lot of talk back and forth and the crew was trying to get both teams to the sidelines."

However, real concern or not, Porter could very well incur a fine for his actions while on the field.

ESPN first reported the possibility of punishments to Burfict and Porter.

This is just a microcosm of the craziness from Saturday, but with an assistant coach on the hook for potential fines and another team's best defensive player already possibly missing games next season, it illustrates just how long we'll be talking about what happened on Saturday night in Cincinnati.


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