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NFL upholds Raiders' Vontaze Burfict's season-long suspension

Sporting News logo Sporting News 10/9/2019 Thomas Lott
Vontaze Burfict wearing a white shirt © Provided by Perform Media Channels Limited

The NFL announced Wednesday it has upheld the suspension of Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Colts tight end Jack Doyle.

"There were no mitigating circumstances on this play," the NFL said in a statement. "Your contact was unnecessary, flagrant and should have been avoided."

Burfict has been suspended for the rest of the season without pay for the hit.

The linebackers' teammates came to Burfict's defense after the hit, however, their appeals did not sway the NFL's decision. 

"I don't think he was trying to hurt that man; the man was going down," quarterback Derek Carr told reporters after the suspension was first announced. "You see it all the time — there's flags flying everywhere.

"We see other people choking people out, and they're going to play this Sunday. We see other people hitting people in the helmet, 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 making the decision really knew the guy that we know, inside our building ... he's a great person, his heart is broken because he's not playing football. The guy just wants to play football. We don't get a lot of time to play this game in our lives."

The Raiders are 3-2 this season and second in the AFC West behind the 4-1 Chiefs.

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