On appeal, the Cincinnati Bengals linebacker is expected to argue he was prescribed medication for dealing with a vicious open-field hit from the Pittsburgh Steelers receiver in Week 13, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Reacting on social media to a headline that read "Vontaze Burfict is blaming his suspension on JuJu Smith-Schuster," the Steelers wideout responded:
That dude Burfict been on too much Slurp Juice and now tryna blame me 😂😂
— JuJu Smith-Schuster (@TeamJuJu) March 17, 2018
Smith-Schuster doubled down by posting a highlight of the hit on his Twitter account. Smith-Schuster was suspended for one game for the hit, but many teammates supported Smith-Schuster for defending them against a player who has doled out plenty of pain on his own against Pittsburgh over the years.
The appeal seems to involve postinjury treatment more than the hit itself. And Burfict also was prescribed medications for a Grade 3 shoulder AC sprain suffered in Week 16, a detail that will be included in his appeal, a source told Schefter.
But since Burfict and the Steelers take physical football to new heights every year, this storyline probably won't be forgotten in the fall.