NFL upholds Vontaze Burfict's season-long suspension

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  • By Grant Gordon NFL.com
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Vontaze Burfict's suspension for the remainder of the season will stand as is, the NFL announced Wednesday.

Appeals officer Derrick Brooks, appointed by the NFL and NFLPA, upheld the suspension of Burfict for his helmet-to-helmet hit against the Colts.

With Brooks' ruling, nothing will change going forward for Burfict, who will not play for the remainder of the regular season or the postseason, should the Raiders (3-2) advance to the playoffs.

NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports Brooks will send a letter in the coming days explaining his decision, as is standard procedure.

Originally suspended Sept. 30 for his hit on Colts tight end Jack Doyle (with a second illegal hit on running back Nyheim Hines later coming to the forefront), Burfict's first season with the Raiders is now over. He was a team captain and starting linebacker who had 18 tackles in four games. Burfict, who missed Sunday's game against the Bears, filed an appeal, but any and all hopes of rejoining Oakland this year have now been expunged.

This was Burfict's eighth season and his first with the Raiders after seven in Cincinnati. No matter the change in roster, the linebacker's timeline of infractions was elongated and his propensity for violations weighed heavily in his suspension, according to a statement by NFL VP of football operations Jon Runyan when the original penalty was announced.

"There were no mitigating circumstances on this play," Runyan said in his letter to Burfict. "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.

"Your extensive history of rules violations is factored into this decision regarding accountability measures."

This is the fourth suspension of Burfict's career, with three due to on-field infractions. He's also been saddled with seven fines.

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