Welcome to the roundup of must-see sports news from Monday, highlighted by the NFL coming down hard on Vontaze Burfict for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Sunday by suspending him for the rest of the season and the Steelers picking up their first win of the season by dominating the Bengals.
All this and more as we jump-start the month of October and get you up to speed with the sports world on this Tuesday!
Raiders LB Vontaze Burfict Suspended Without Pay for Rest of Season for Helmet-to-Helmet Hit
The NFL handed out the longest suspension in league history for an on-field incident, banning Oakland Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict for the rest of the 2019 season for a helmet-to-helmet hit he delivered on Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle on Sunday.
The vicious blow led to Burfict getting ejected in the second quarter of the Raiders’ 31-24 win.
The NFL’s vice president of football operations Jon Runyan wrote a letter to Burfict on Monday explaining the ruling.
“There were no mitigating circumstances on this play,” Runyan said in the letter. “Your contact was unnecessary, flagrant and should have been avoided. For your actions, you were penalized and disqualified from the game. Following each of your previous rule violations, you were warned by me and each of the jointly-appointed officers that future violations would result in escalated accountability measures. However, you have continued to flagrantly abuse rules designated to protect yourself and your opponents from unnecessary risk.”
The 29-year-old Burfict is certainly no stranger to being punished by the league, as he was suspended and fined 13 times during his seven seasons in Cincinnati with the Bengals. Of the 13 suspensions, two were for illegal hits.
Burfict is planning on appealing the suspension, his agent Lamont Smith told ESPN’s Josina Anderson. Smith would go to say that “the 12-game suspension is excessive and the play that triggered the suspension was a football play.”
The Raiders signed Burfict this offseason and named him a team captain. Burfict will not be paid during the suspension, per the NFL.
Steelers Slam Bengals 27-3 to Pick Up First Win of Season
The Pittsburgh Steelers got their first win of the 2019 season on Monday night, dominating the Cincinnati Bengals in every fashion in a 27-3 rout.
The Steelers defense was the star of the game and made for a long night for Bengals QB Andy Dalton, as he was sacked on 8 plays and hit a total of 12 times.
Second-year QB Mason Rudolph had an efficient game for the Steelers, completing 24-of-28 passes for 229 yards and two touchdowns.
Steelers running back Jaylen Samuels shined as a versatile weapon out of the backfield, rushing for a touchdown, catching 8 passes for 57 yards and also completing three passes.
Next up for the Steelers will be their division rival, the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, while the winless Bengals get the Arizona Cardinals.
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WHAT’S ON TAP IN THE SPORTS WORLD ON TUESDAY
MLB NL WILD CARD GAME: Milwaukee Brewers at Washington Nationals
The Nationals host the Brewers in a one-game Wild Card playoff, with a trip to face the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Division Series on the line. Max Scherzer (11-7, 2.92 ERA) will be on the mound for the Nationals, while the Brewers will counter with Brandon Woodruff (11-3, 3.62 ERA).
WHEN: Tonight, 8:08 p.m. ET
WNBA FINALS GAME 2: Connecticut Sun at Washington Mystics
The Nationals won’t be the only show in town tonight in D.C., as the Mystics will host the Sun in Game 2 of the WNBA Finals. The Mystics won Game 1, 95-86, to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-5 championship series.
WHEN: Tonight, 8 p.m. ET
Missed Yesterday’s Roundup? Click here for it.