Perhaps Vontaze Burfict is turning over a new leaf.
The Bengals linebacker, whose tackle injured Le’Veon Bell’s knee and ended his season in Week 8, tweeted supporting words to the Steelers’ star running back as he continues his rehab. Bell responded and it seems there’s no hard feelings on his end.
— Le’Veon Bell (@L_Bell26) March 2, 2016
Bell tore multiple ligaments in his knee after being tackled by Burfict, and several Steelers players thought Burfict celebrated that tackle a little too much. What was apparent to anyone watching the game was that Burfict seemed to flee the scene pretty quickly.
Burfict also ended Antonio Brown’s season with a hit to the head in a wild-card game at Cincinnati. Brown sat out the following week at Denver with a concussion and the Steelers lost 23-16. Burfict is suspended for the first three games of the 2016 season for an ongoing disregard of player safety, but he seems ready to clean up his game after a talk with the commissioner.
Bell was cleared to run on a treadmill Tuesday, according to Pro Football Talk. That’s a significant milestone in his rehab, which apparently inspired Burfict’s words of encouragement.
Burfict and Bell might be mending fences, but the two Steelers-Bengals games should be a hot prime-time property for the TV networks next season. The histrionics of last season has made this arguably the most heated rivalry in the NFL.