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Raiders LB Vontaze Burfict loses appeal for suspension

Vontaze Burfict is officially out for the season after the Oakland Raiders linebacker lost his appeal over a suspension for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle.

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The NFL announced the decision from appeals officer Derrick Brooks on Wednesday after a Tuesday hearing in which the Raiders supported Burfict.

Burfict was initially assessed the harsh penalty following last week’s game against the Colts, in which he was ejected for laying a vicious hit on a defenseless Doyle. That added yet another chapter to the linebacker’s long history of dirty hits.

The NFL, clearly done with Burfict’s act, held nothing back in assessing Burfict’s conduct during the game and in the past.

From NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan’s letter to Burfict:

There were no mitigating circumstances on this play. 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 designed to protect yourself and your opponents from unnecessary risk.

Burfict’s outlook for his appeal got even bleaker when the NFL not-so-subtly revealed it had found another helmet-to-helmet hit in the Colts game that Burfict had apparently gotten away with.

The now-official punishment is unprecedented in NFL history for an illegal hit, Burfict seems to have done more than earn it in his eight-year NFL career.

Suspension is latest Vontaze Burfict’s many punishments

There was a reason that Burfict’s notable defenders regarding the suspension were basically his own team and Bill Romanowski.

Burfict has been laying dangerous hits for years, with past hits like going after Steelers receiver Antonio Brown in a playoff game and his own teammate or his own teammate Giovani Bernard’s knees in practice. That history goes back to college, racking up 16 personal fouls in his last 26 games at Arizona State.

Burfict has racked up more than $4.2 million in between fines and game checks lost to suspension according to Spotrac, a total that will only go up with this latest punishment.

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