ESPN: Vontaze Burfict Facing Season-Long Suspension for Illegal Cheap Shot

The helmet-to-helmet hit occurred during Oakland's 31-24 win over the Colts

Report: Vontaze Burfict Facing Season-Long Suspension for Illegal Cheap Shot
Vontaze Burfict of the Oakland Raiders. (Aaron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post)
By Evan Bleier / September 30, 2019 11:37 am

According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict is facing a season-long suspension for his illegal hit on Indianapolis tight end Jack Doyle.

The helmet-to-helmet hit, which occurred during Oakland’s surprising 31-24 win over the Colts, earned Burfict an ejection and drew plenty of ire on social media.

Though the hit itself may not be worthy of a season-long suspension on its own, Burfict is a repeat offender with a long history of taking cheap shots.

“It’s a tough decision, it’s a tough call. I think it was a flag,” Raiders coach Jon Gruden said Sunday. “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.”

Burfict, 29, has already been suspended twice in his career for illegal hits which caused him to miss a total of six games. Overall, he received 13 suspensions and fines in seven seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals before signing with the Raiders as a free agent.

Should the league follow through and suspend Burfict for the season, it would be the longest for an on-field act in NFL history, surpassing the five-game ban Albert Haynesworth received for stomping on Andre Gurode’s head in 2006.

No matter how long the NFL suspends Burfict for, he will fight the ban.

“Burfict will appeal any suspension,” Mortensen reported on Twitter. “He had a 5-game suspensión reduced by a neutral arbitrator in 2017. League’s job is to discipline and, in effect, send a message regardless of appeal.”

UPDATE: The league has followed through on the suspension.

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