Burfict will miss the first four games of the regular season.
Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict has been suspended four games for violating the league's performance-enhancing drug policy, the team announced.
Burfict will miss the first four games of the season without pay but can participate in all preseason and offseason workouts and games, according to an NFL spokesperson.
The suspension is in relation to a drug test from Dec. 27, 2017. Burfict was taking medication for a concussion he suffered on Dec. 4 when he was hit by Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, and a Grade 3 shoulder AC sprain that he suffered on Dec. 24 against the Lions.
Burfict can appeal the suspension. If he does not win the appeal, it will be the third consecutive season that Burfict will be suspended during Week 1. In 2016, he missed the first three games of the year for an illegal hit on Antonio Brown during a playoff loss against the Steelers the season before. In 2017, he missed the first three games because of an illegal hit on Chiefs running back Anthony Sherman during a preseason game. The suspension was initially supposed to be five games, but it was reduced after an appeal.
Burfict will be entering his seventh season and went to his only career Pro Bowl Game in 2013 after racking up 171 interceptions and one interception that year.