Vontaze Burfict Facing Season-Long Suspension For Vicious Hit
By Bill Galluccio
September 30, 2019
Oakland Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict is in trouble with the league again. Burfict was ejected from Sunday's (September 29) game against the Indianapolis Colts following a late helmet-to-helmet hit on tight end Jack Doyle and is facing a suspension because of the brutal hit. Burfict didn't seem to mind getting ejected
The NFL handed down a season-long suspension on Burfict for the hit.
"There were no mitigating circumstances on this play," NFL VP of Football Operations Jon Runyan said. "Your contact was unnecessary, flagrant and should have been avoided. For your actions, you were penalized and disqualified from the game."
The league pointed out that Burfict's previous history of illegal hits was a deciding factor in the decision to suspend him for the rest of the year.
"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. Your extensive history of rules violations is factored into this decision regarding accountability measures."
The 29-year-old has received three suspensions and ten fines during his seven seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. Two of the suspensions were for three games following illegal hits, while his third suspension was for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs. According to Spotrac, Burfict has been fined $4.2 million throughout his career, but the punishments have not convinced him to change how he plays the game.
This is his first season with the Raiders, and it only took four games for him to get in trouble with the NFL.
After the game, Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said the hit deserved a penalty.
"It's a tough decision, it's a tough call. I think it was a flag," Gruden said. "It was very well-documented that the league was going to review those plays this year in New York City. So, that's what happened, and I'll wait to hear what their reasoning was. But it was a penalty, he went in there with his head down, it was called and, unfortunately for us, it was an ejection."
Photo: Getty Images