As a longtime safety for the Baltimore Ravens, Ed Reed is very familiar with linebacker Vontaze Burfict due to playing the Cincinnati Bengals twice a season. Based on this knowledge, Reed believes that he can speak capably on the controversy surrounding the suspending linebacker, and he thinks that Burfict should have some tests done.
TMZ Sports recently caught up with the 12-year veteran at the airport and asked him about Burfict's latest suspension for an illegal hit. What Reed found frustrating with the play in which the Raiders linebacker hit Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle in the head is that he was blowing kisses to the crowd and waving as he jogged off the field.
"After all the years ... dude actually needs to be evaluated," Reed said to TMZ Sports. "I think he needs to be evaluated for playing like that."
Throughout recent years, there have been concerns about Burfict and the effects that these helmet-to-helmet hits can have on each player in the long term. There have been multiple debates about concussions and CTE, which is something that Reed has been discussing in recent weeks.
"We need to put it in the contract," Reed said during an appearance on the Rich Eisen Show. "If you play NFL football, you play football, these are the consequences. There's choices and consequences in life for everything. There's consequences if you play football."
Is Burfict possibly dealing with the effects of hits that he has taken and delivered in recent seasons? The answer is currently unknown, but Reed would like for the Raiders linebacker to be evaluated. As he continued to explain to TMZ Sports, there are simply too many factors that could be an issue in the future.
"It's a violent sport, you can die from playing this sport," Reed said. "You can get concussions, you can have CTE, you can be paralyzed. They need to put that in the contracts and let people know that."
Will Burfict get tested and fulfill Reed's wishes? He certainly has plenty of time now that his season-long suspension has been upheld by former linebacker Derrick Brooks. There is just the simple matter of him making that decision.
Burfict is currently scheduled to miss the final 11 games on the Raiders schedule after the Silver and Black fought to a 3-2 start to the season. Oakland is in the midst of a bye week after returning from London, but will soon be facing off with the Green Bay Packers. Without Burfict on the active roster, fellow linebacker Tahir Whitehead will be tasked with calling the defensive signals.