The Baltimore Ravens say offensive lineman Marshal Yanda did not spit on Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict during Sunday’s game between the AFC North rivals.
The sequence in question occurred in the fourth quarter after Burfict tackled Baltimore running back Alex Collins and a minor scuffle ensued involving several players.
Video from the CBS broadcast of the game shows Yanda appearing to spit while Burfict was on the ground after the play, and Burfict had no apparent reaction.
When contacted Monday by ESPN’s Jamison Hensley, Ravens spokesman Kevin Byrne said Yanda “did not spit on anyone.”
Ravens coach John Harbaugh strongly supported his player Monday.
“This guy has been playing 11 years and played at the University of Iowa, for whoever wrote the article that makes the insinuation, have you ever heard of Marshal Yanda’s character being attacked or him doing something along those lines ever in his whole career?” Harbaugh asked rhetorically. “But now all of a sudden, we’re going to say, ‘Oh, I know Marshal Yanda spit at somebody.’ Really? Come on, there’s no way.”
Neither Burfict nor the Bengals have publicly commented on the incident. Baltimore won the game 24-21.