The Bengals will be without Adam Jones and Vontaz Burfict for the start of the season.
Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict is facing a possible five-game suspension for an illegal hit against Kansas City Chiefs fullback Anthony Sherman during a preseason exhibition game, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
The suspension is pending an appeal and a hearing with the NFL is set for this week. The Bengals will open the season on Sept. 10 against the Baltimore Ravens before playing the Houston Texans, Green Bay Packers, Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills in the first five weeks.
The Chiefs won the preseason game 30–12 on Aug. 19. The hit violated the NFL's new rule on hitting a running back in a defenseless position, according to Schefter.
In a statement, the Bengals expressed they are behind Burfict in this situation, adding that they believe the hit was legal.
Cincinnati is already without Adam Jones for the first game of the season due to a guilty plea this offseason regarding an arrest for three misdemeanors and a felony.
Burfict is estimated to lose $882,353 in lost base-salary, if the five-game suspension stands.