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NFL upholds season-long suspension for Raiders LB Vontaze Burfict

By Alex Butler
Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Vontaze Burfict (R) has now been suspended four times during his eight year NFL career. File Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/4adf7b785553760339ab3deab2f63a7f/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Vontaze Burfict (R) has now been suspended four times during his eight year NFL career. File Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 10 (UPI) -- The season-long suspension for Oakland Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict has been upheld by the NFL.

Burfict was suspended for the 2019 campaign on Sept. 30 for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle. He was ejected from the game before the league issued further discipline. The NFL announced Burfict's appeal was denied Wednesday.

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"There were no mitigating circumstances on this play," NFL VP of football operations Jon Runyan said in his original 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."

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The former Arizona State star will not be paid during the suspension.

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Burfict, 29, has been suspended four times during his eight-year NFL career. The 2013 Pro Bowl selection had 18 tackles and a pass defensed in four starts this season. He joined the Raiders this off-season after playing the first seven seasons of his career for the Cincinnati Bengals.

The NFL's decision comes after the Raiders criticized the league for the ban.

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"I respect the league's position," Raiders coach Jon Gruden told reporters Tuesday. "They have a tough job. At the same time, we have a lot of confidence that they will do what's right. We want Burfict back. He has already been punished. We hope he can return to playing soon."

The Raiders face the Green Bay Packers at 1 p.m. EDT Sunday, Oct. 20 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisc. after a Week 6 bye.

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