The Oakland Raiders currently face a huge void at the linebacker position with the absence of Vontaze Burfict, who was handed down a season-long suspension for his hit on Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle in Week 4.
Burfict was initially flagged for unnecessary roughness and subsequently ejected from the game after an official review. The length of the suspension was deemed appropriate by the NFL considering his track record of such hits during his previous seven-year stint with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has a different opinion and believes the length of Burfict’s suspension is excessive, citing other incidents around the NFL that garnered less punishment.
Burfict learned of the suspension while en route to London for the Raiders’ Week 5 matchup against the Chicago Bears. He decided to appeal and returned home, where a hearing was scheduled for Tuesday.
Despite valient efforts from Burfict, Carr and Gruden, it appears it was to no avail. The NFL announced on Wednesday that Burfict lost his appeal and will serve out his suspension for the remainder of the 2019 season.
Appeals officer Derrick Brooks, jointly appointed by the NFL and NFLPA, has upheld the suspension of Vontaze Burfict. Burfict is suspended for the remainder of the season. The original announcement: pic.twitter.com/Hs7zeNWETs
— Michael Signora (@NFLfootballinfo) October 9, 2019
The news of Burfict’s suspension being upheld — although expected — is certainly a major blow to the Raiders, who are thin on depth at the linebacker position.
The team recently placed Marquel Lee on injured reserve and signed Dakota Allen off the Los Angeles Rams’ practice squad. The Texas Tech and ‘Last Chance U’ product now stands to benefit with more playing time going forward.
In four games for the Raiders this season, Burfict recorded 18 tackles and one pass defended. He was signed to a one-year contract over the offseason and hoped a reunion with defensive coordinator Paul Guenther would help revitalize his career.