Vontaze Burfict is officially done for the rest of the NFL season. After that harsh penalty was handed down following a dirty late hit on Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle, it has been upheld.
Burfict’s hit occurred back on September 29. Due to the linebacker’s reputation for unsafe play, the penalty was far more severe than it would’ve been for someone with a clean record.
Nevertheless, with pretty vocal backing of his head coach Jon Gruden and Oakland Raiders teammates, Burfict appealed the decision. Today, appeals officer Derrick Brooks upheld it.
Appeals officer Derrick Brooks, jointly appointed by the NFL and NFLPA, has upheld the suspension of Vontaze Burfict. Burfict is suspended for the remainder of the season. The original announcement: pic.twitter.com/Hs7zeNWETs
— Michael Signora (@NFLfootballinfo) October 9, 2019
The full text of the NFL’s decision, which was just upheld:
“Vontaze Burfict of the Oakland Raiders has been suspended without pay for the remainder of the 2019 season, as well as any postseason games, for repeated violations of unnecessary roughness rules, including in Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts.
“NFL Vice President of Football Operations Jon Runyan issued the suspension for a violation of Rule 12, Section 2, Article 10, which states that: “It is a foul if a player lowers his head to initiate and make contact with his helmet against an opponent.” In his letter to Burfice, Runyan wrote:
“‘There were no mitigating circumstances on this play. Your contact was unnecessary, flagrant and should have been avoided. For your actions, you were penalized and disqualified from the game, following each of your previous rule violations, you were warned by me and each of the jointly appointed appeal officers that future violations would result in escalated accountability measures. However, you have continued to flagrantly abuse rules designated to protect yourself and your opponents from unnecessary risk.'”
With this new penalty, Burfict will have been suspended for at least 22 games in his career, including at least one in four straight seasons, and has already been fined or has forfeited $4.5 million for various illegal hits and other on-field indiscretions.