Carolina Panthers kicker Graham Gano criticized Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict on Twitter on Sunday night for what he perceived as two cheap shots in the teams' game Sunday, which ended in a 37-37 tie after overtime.

By SI Wire
October 13, 2014

Carolina Panthers kicker Graham Gano criticized Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict on Twitter on Sunday night for what he perceived as two attempts to injure Carolina players in the teams' game Sunday, which ended in a 37-37 tie after overtime.

Gano re-tweeted the Vine video below that depicts Burfict appearing to twist the ankle of Panthers quarterback Cam Newton after Newton's 12-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Burfict also appeared to do the same to tight end Greg Olsen after his 13-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter. Gano also re-tweeted a photo showing Burfict holding Olsen's ankle.

In two tweets that followed the Vine, Gano said it makes him "sick" that Burfict would try to intentionally injure opposing players and that he hopes the NFL punishes Burfict for his actions.

At a press conference Monday, Panthers head coach Ron Rivera criticized Burfict for his actions and said he will send video of the two plays to the league office for review.

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Burfict was not penalized for either play but did receive three penalties at other points in the game, two of which were personal fouls. A roughing the passer call in the third quarter led to a Panthers touchdown three plays later, and an illegal contact call in overtime led to a field goal by Gano that tied the game at 37.

Known for his aggressive style and fiery demeanor, Burfict sustained a concussion in each of the Bengals' first two games this season, leading him to miss Cincinnati's games in Week 3 and Week 5 before returning on Sunday. He left the game against the Panthers after taking a hit to the head but returned after he tested negative for a concussion.

Burfict has 18 tackles in three games this season, one year after leading the NFL in tackles and making his first Pro Bowl in 2013.

Gano, a sixth-year pro, went 3-for-4 on field goal attempts on Sunday. The game ended in a tie when Bengals kicker Mike Nugent missed a 36-yard field goal attempt as time expired in overtime.

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The Panthers are now 3-2-1, while the Bengals are 3-1-1. Both teams are in first place in their respective divisions.

Ben Estes

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