The NFL has had it with the helmet-to-helmet hits of linebacker Vontaze Burfict.
On Monday the league suspended the Raiders linebacker following a hit on Colts tight end Jack Doyle. In Sunday’s game, Doyle was getting up after making a short catch and was hit by Burfict with a helmet-to-helmet blow. Officials ejected Burfict from the game which the Raiders would go on to win 31-24. The suspension will cost Burfict $1.16 million in salary.
The league released the following statement:
“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, 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 Burfict, 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 designed to protect yourself and your opponents from unnecessary risk.’
“Under the collective bargaining agreement, the suspension may be appealed within three business days. Appeals are heard and decided by either Derrick Brooks or James Thrash, the officers jointly appointed and compensated by the NFL and NFLPA to decide appeals of on-field player discipline.”
In his career Burfict has been fiend more than $4 million and missed over 10 games due to suspensions incluyding a four-game ban for a violation of the performance enhancing drug policy.