Burfict's ban for remainder of NFL season upheld on appeal

New York (AFP) –


Oakland Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict's suspension for the remainder of the NFL season for a helmet-to-helmet hit was upheld on appeal, the league announced Wednesday.

Derrick Brooks, a former linebacker appointed jointly by the league and the NFL Players Association to hear the appeal Tuesday, let stand the ban for Burfict's severe blow to Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle.

The season-ending ban was handed down on September 30, a day after the hit, for repeated violations of unnecessary roughness rules.

"Your contact was unnecessary, flagrant and should have been avoided," NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan said in an open letter to Burfict announcing the suspension.

"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 will miss the remainder of the season and any playoff games the Raiders might reach in what is expected to be their final season based in Oakland before moving to Las Vegas.

Burfict has accumulated more than $5.3 million in fines and lost salary for rule violations.

His suspension could have been reduced but Brooks did not trim the ban. The Hall of Fame defender also upheld a three-game suspension in 2016 against Burfict on appeal after a hit upon Antonio Brown.