OAKLAND (KRON) – The Oakland Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict is facing a season-long suspension for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Sunday on Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle.
Burfict was ejected immediately in the second quarter after being flagged for hitting Doyle.
In a letter from NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan explains his decision.
“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 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.”
The linebacker has had a history of fines and suspensions for unnecessary roughness.
Here are just a few:
•Sept. 27, 2013 – Fined $10,000 for striking Packers tight end Ryan Taylor in the groin
•Sept. 27, 2013 – Fined $21,000 for a hit on defenseless Packers wide receiver James Jones
•Dec. 18, 2015 – Fined $69,454 for two unnecessary roughness penalties and diving at Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s knee
•Jan. 11, 2016 – Fined $50,000 for chin-shot on Ravens tight end Maxx Williams.
•Jan. 11, 2016 – Suspended three games for a head shot on defenseless Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown, costing him $502,941
•Oct. 19, 2018 – Fined $112,000 for illegal hits on Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown and running back James Conner
•Dec. 7, 2018 – Fined $53,482 for lowering his helmet against Broncos fullback Andy Janovich
•Sept. 30, 2019 – Suspended at least 12 games or more if the Raiders make the playoffs, for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Colts tight end Jack Doyle, costing him $1,163,787
The linebacker’s agent, Lamont Smith, told ESPN’s Josina Anderson, Burfict will appeal the suspension.
Head coach Jon Gruden is not pleased with the punishment.
“It hurts our team really bad,” Gruden said. “I’m anxious to see what the appeal says. I’m not happy about it, at all.’
Raiders’ quarterback Derek Carr doesn’t think it’s fair.
Following Wednesday’s practice, Carr spoke out.
“We see other people hitting people in the helmets and they’re going to play this Sunday and Vontaze Burfict won’t play the rest of the year? I think that’s a little excessive if you ask me. I don’t think it’s fair, if we really got to know the guy. IF the people that were making the decisions, knew the guy that we know. I’m just being as honest as I can be, because that’s who I am.”
Carr added, “He’s a great person and his heart is broken because he’s not playing football.”
This is Burfict’s first season with the Oakland Raiders and he was recently named a team captain.