NFL rejects Burfict’s appeal, upholds 4-game suspension

CINCINNATI (AP) — The NFL has rejected linebacker Vontaze Burfict’s appeal and imposed a four-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancers, the fourth year in a row he’ll miss the start of a Bengals season.

Burfict sat out the first six games of the 2015 season while recovering from knee surgery. He was suspended three games by the league for hitting Steelers receiver Antonio Brown in the head during the Bengals’ playoff meltdown that season, forcing him to miss the start of 2016.

He got another three-game suspension last season after his egregious hit on Kansas City running back Anthony Sherman during the preseason. He also was ejected last season during a game at Tennessee for contact with an official.