Vontaze Burfict dives at Gio Bernard's knees, sparking practice fight

Shutdown Corner
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nfl/players/26238/" data-ylk="slk:Vontaze Burfict">Vontaze Burfict</a> started a training camp fight with a cheap shot to teammate <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nfl/players/26660/" data-ylk="slk:Giovani Bernard">Giovani Bernard</a>. (AP)
Vontaze Burfict started a training camp fight with a cheap shot to teammate Giovani Bernard. (AP)

At least Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict doesn’t discriminate on who he’ll deliver a cheap shot to. We knew he’d do it to opponents, and Tuesday we found out he’ll do it to a teammate too.

Bengals running back Giovani Bernard is coming off ACL surgery. You don’t want to go low on any teammate in practice, but especially a running back coming off ACL surgery. Bernard is a key piece to the Bengals offense. Like this matters to Burfict.

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Bernard was in his first play of contact drills since surgery, according to Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer, and Burfict dove right at his knees. Absolutely incredible. Here’s the video from Jay Morrison of the Cox Media Group:

Again, to sum up, one of Burfict’s teammates, just off ACL surgery, was in his first play of contact drills since blowing out his knee. And Burfict dove at his knees right away. They’re teammates. Unbelievable.

You can see the fight that ensued (it wasn’t exactly a brawl like Edelman-Gilmore I, but rather your typical football pushing and shoving fight) and for good reason. You can see running backs coach Kyle Caskey running up to the line to yell at Burfict. Then players from offense and defense jump in. The coaches were upset because it’s a standard rule in NFL practices that you don’t bring teammates down to the ground when tackling and you definitely don’t dive at their knees.

Not that it excuses Burfict’s dirty play, but at least before he was trying to hurt players from the other team. That makes some sense, albeit on a sinister level. But doing that to a teammate? A teammate coming off a serious knee injury?

Never change, Vontaze. Never change.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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