Raiders' Gruden, Carr back suspended Burfict
Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and coach Jon Gruden, prepping for their NFL clash with the Chicago Bears in London, voiced support for suspended linebacker Vontaze Burfict on Wednesday.
The NFL slapped Burfict with a season-ending suspension on Monday for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Indianapolis Colts player Jack Doyle.
Burfict, who has run afoul of NFL rules in the past, was ejected in the second quarter of the Raiders' 31-24 win over the Colts for contact league vice president Jon Runyan later called "unnecessary" and "flagrant."
"I'm not really going to say anything," Gruden said when asked about the matter at a press conference. "I've talked to Runyan and the league office.
"He knows how I feel. It hurts our team really bad. I'm anxious to see what the appeal says. I'm not happy about it. At all."
Carr said he thought the suspension was unfair.
"I don't think he was trying to hurt that man, that man was going down," Carr said.
"You see it all the time. There's flags flying everywhere. But if we think about football, the guy caught it here and he's already starting to hit him and he's starting to go down, obviously you're going to hit him a little higher than you expected."
Carr said the punishment didn't fit the crime.
"We see other people choking people out, they're going to play this Sunday," Carr said, a reference to a Sunday skirmish between Baltimore cornerback Marlon Humphrey and Browns receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in which Humphrey appeared to choke the Cleveland player.
"We see other people hitting people in the helmets, they're going to play this Sunday. And Vontaze Burfict won't play the rest of the year? I think that's a little excessive if you ask me. I don't think it's fair.
"He's a great person, his heart is broken because he's not playing football," Carr said.
NFL.com reported that Burfict had arrived home after departing London, where the Raiders take on the Bears at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday.
© 2019 AFP