Vontaze Burfict has knee surgery

CINCINNATI -- Bengals Pro Bowl linebacker Vontaze Burfict will miss Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars -- and likely next Thursday night's game against the Cleveland Browns -- coach Marvin Lewis said during his news conference Wednesday.

Lewis said Burfict underwent arthroscopic surgery to his left knee Wednesday morning to remove a particle of cartilage that could have caused damage to the linebacker's knee had it gone untreated.

"He had a little rock in there we had to get cleaned out from a play the other day when his foot got trapped," Lewis said.

In Sunday's 27-24 win over the Ravens, Burfict got pushed backward by a Baltimore blocker on a first-down play in the middle of the Ravens' opening drive. As Burfict ran toward the flat to his left, a blocker went low to cut him.

Burfict's knee ran into the opposing player as his foot got momentarily caught underneath him. As he tried to continue pursuing the play to his left, Burfict pulled up in obvious pain.

Burfict missed the next five plays, getting evaluated on the sideline before returning for a second-and-goal from the Bengals' 2. At the end of each of the last three plays of the drive, Burfict hobbled around the pile in obvious pain.

After jogging into the locker room for brief treatment once the drive ended, Burfict came back out and finished the game. He didn't show any signs of being injured. He also didn't answer any questions about his health in the locker room following the win.

"When the adrenaline's going and everything like that, unless it's in the joint, it's fine," Lewis said about Burfict continuing to play. "The problem is, you don't want it to get stuck in the joint and cause an issue."

Doctors initially believed Burfict had a simple bone bruise. Further evaluation Monday revealed that he had a particle floating around his knee that needed to be removed.

"The problem is if it locks in the joint, then your leg locks if you've ever had that," Lewis said. "Or, also the fact that if you leave it in there and you try to play -- which is what his initial thought was -- you can risk further damage, and you don't want to do that to the player.

"The best thing was to bite the bullet and have it removed and get him back and rehabbed and get him healthy for the rest of the way."

Lewis said he believed this was the first surgical procedure Burfict had ever undergone.

Until this season, the third-year player had been relatively healthy. He picked up his share of bumps and bruises in every game before this year, but he always found a way to finish those games. This season, he's had problems making it a full 60 minutes each week.

Burfict has appeared in five of the Bengals' seven games so far this season, but he has only finished two -- Sunday's was one them -- because of head and neck injuries.

The NFL's leading tackler a year ago, Burfict has only 29 tackles in 2014.