Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis came to the defense of linebacker Vontaze Burfict after Burfict was again fined by the NFL.
Burfict was fined $75,000 for stepping on New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount during last Sunday's 35-17 loss. Burfict could have also been fined for an unnecessary low hit on Martellus Bennett..
"I don't think he did anything wrong," Lewis told reporters Wednesday. "We were not in the wrong here, in my opinion. And it's unfortunate. That's what I have told and stood on and will continue to."
Lewis said he's watched the incident thoroughly and believes Burfict was innocent of any wrong doing.
"I don't think he meant to do anything. And I've been through it back and forth as big as this board behind me," Lewis said, via ESPN. "Hell if I can see who steps where or whatever. I see him try to step through [the pile] and try to go help [a] teammate. ... Someone from another team has a hand on his teammate's face mask, pushing him in the face, and that's what he's trying to get to. But that doesn't matter — it's done. We'll move on and things will happen the way they happen."
Lewis now thinks Burfict, who began the season with a three-game suspension and has now been fined eight times, is unfairly being targeted for past incidents.
"That's a thing he knows. He's got to realize all the time so it's not the national furor all the time," Lewis said. "Just play football and our guys aren't going to talk about it, as I've instructed. If anybody has any questions, they can talk to me about it."
Wednesday was a bad day for Burfict all around. In addition to the hefty fine, he also left practice with an ankle injury. Despite getting carted off the field, Lewis said Burfict's injury wasn't serious.