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NFL announces four-game suspension for Vontaze Burfict

The NFL on Thursday suspended Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict four games for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported in March that Burfict was facing the suspension for a failed test on Dec. 27 of last year.

Sources told Schefter that Burfict's appeal was to be centered around the fact that he was on prescribed medication for the concussion that he suffered on a hit from Steelers wide receiver Ju-Ju Smith Schuster on Dec. 4 and that he suffered a Grade 3 shoulder AC sprain during the Detroit Lions game on Dec. 24 and was on prescribed medications for this injury as well.

Burfict has been suspended in the past, but for on-field transgressions. He was suspended for the first three games of the 2017 season for an illegal hit on Kansas City Chiefs fullback Anthony Sherman in the preseason. He initially was suspended five games but had the penalty reduced on appeal.

Burfict was also suspended the first three games of the 2016 season for numerous violations of player safety rules, including an illegal hit on Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown during the 2015 playoffs.

Separate from those suspensions, Burfict has been fined $303,637 for 11 on-field incidents in his NFL career, according to ESPN Stats & Information.