Raiders Rumors: Vontaze Burfict Expected To Be Suspended For Remainder Of Season For Hit On Colts’ Jack Doyle

After two disappointing losses to the Kansas City Chiefs and Minnesota Vikings, the Oakland Raiders bounced back in a huge way to defeat the Indianapolis Colts on the road in Week 4, 31-24.

The Raiders started the game off on a good note as they scored the game’s first touchdown when Derek Carr found rookie tight end Foster Moreau for an 18-yard pass. On the team’s next offensive drive, newly acquired Trevor Davis managed to score on a 60-yard run that put the Raiders up 14-0 in the first quarter.

However, in the second quarter, there was some controversy as linebacker Vontaze Burfict lowered his helmet on a tackle on Colts tight end Jack Doyle. Burfict was called for an unnecessary roughness penalty and after officials reviewed the play, he was then ejected from the game.

Burfict has a checkered past when it comes to player safety and well-being. During his time with the Cincinnati Bengals, Burfict was repeatedly called for illegal hits and unnecessary roughness penalties that resulted in numerous fines and suspensions from the league.

Because of that past and him being a repeat offender, it appears the league is coming down hard on Burfict for his hit on Doyle, According to Chris Mortensen of ESPN, he will be suspended for the remainder of the 2019-20 season:

After the game, Doyle admitted that he believed the play was not a dirty one according to Matt Kawahara of San Francisco Chronicle:

Vontaze Burfict is facing a season-long suspension for his late conduct on field, per source.

— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) September 30, 2019

That would be the largest suspension for a hit in NFL history, so it does come as a bit of a surprise. Burfict will appeal the suspension, per Mortensen:

Vontaze Burfict will appeal any suspension. 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.

— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) September 30, 2019

While Burfict has a reputation as a dirty player, Doyle himself did not feel that the hit was dirty, via Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle:

#Colts TE Jack Doyle on the hit that led to #Raiders LB Vontaze Burfict’s ejection: “I just got tackled. I’m sure it looked worse than it was. I didn’t really feel anything from it. My helmet protected me.”

— Matt Kawahara (@matthewkawahara) September 29, 2019

While Oakland was ultimately able to earn the win without him, losing their defensive signal-caller for the whole season would be difficult given the injuries to the rest of the linebacking corps.

However, Burfict’s ejection in the second quarter should not take away from the fact that this was definitely the Silver and Black’s all-around best game of the season. Derek Carr flashed some of the keen pocket presence and throwing ability that made him an MVP candidate in 2016 as he routinely found players like Tyrell Williams and Darren Waller open against a banged-up Colts defense.

The most encouraging part, though, was the defense stepping up against a quarterback in Jacoby Brissett, who has filled in admirably for the now-retired Andrew Luck. The Raiders defense sealed the game as they managed to pick off Brissett in the final moments of the fourth quarter and returned it for a touchdown, giving them the win.

This was almost a must-win game for Oakland as they look to keep pace in the AFC West. Hopefully, they can keep the momentum going in Week 5 when they face off against the Chicago Bears in London. If Burfict’s appeal is not heard this week then there is a chance that he is able to play in that game, although that is very unlikely.

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