OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco cracked a wide grin and paused a second after being asked his opinion of Vontaze Burfict, the highly controversial Cincinnati Bengals linebacker.
"That's a tough thing to answer," Flacco said. "I try not to worry about all that stuff. I just want to go out there and play the game. For the most part, he's does that. But obviously, he's had his incidents. We'll see how it goes on Sunday. But I'm not going to worry about it."
From Baltimore coach John Harbaugh to his players, it became apparent Wednesday that the Ravens were going to let their history with Burfict speak for itself.
In the last meeting with Cincinnati (the 2015 season finale), Burfict blindsided Ravens tight end Maxx Williams with a helmet-to-helmet blow that knocked the rookie off his feet. The ball wasn't even coming in Williams' direction.
Nearly a year later, Urschel declined to comment on Burfict. "I've got no opinion," Urschel said. "Business as usual."
That wasn't the Ravens' first run-in with Burfict. In October 2014, wide receiver Torrey Smith was hit late by Burfict after he was already shaken up from a collision with Adam Jones. Smith later called Burfict a "dirty" player.
No one on the Ravens' current team would go that far in describing Burfict.
"I'm not probably going to comment on other guys' players and stuff like that," Harbaugh said. "He's a good player. He's a guy you definitely have to be aware of when you play against him."
Will the Ravens talk about Burfict given the incidents that have occurred in the past?
"We do that on every player," Harbaugh said. "There's a scouting report on every single player."
That scouting report must be an extensive one. The NFL suspended Burfict for the first four games of the season for “repeated violations of safety-related rules” after he was penalized for a shoulder-to-helmet hit on Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown.
"If I was worried, I wouldn't play football," tight end Dennis Pitta said. "That's part of the game. I know he's got a reputation for some things, but I've never experienced it. We're worried about playing our best football, and as long as it's physical and in between the whistles, we're fine with it, and we expect it.”
Burfict apparently hasn't changed his ways since returning from his suspension. He was fined $75,000 for stomping on New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount after a touchdown on Oct. 16, and Burfict delivered a late shot Sunday on Robert Woods after the Buffalo Bills wide receiver was already on the ground with a knee injury.
"I respect him as a player," said Ravens fullback Kyle Juszczyk, who has had plenty of collisions with Burfict. "I don't get too involved in after-the-play kind of stuff. So he can say whatever he wants and I'm going to move on."
Would Juszczyk describe Burfict as a dirty player?
"I don't agree with some of the decisions he's made and some of the things he's done after the play," he said. "So I'll just leave it at that."